A video of a 55-year-old cleaner playing piano in her uniform at a top Beijing arts school’s annual new year party is proving popular on the Chinese internet.
Xing Guoqin, eight years a cleaner at the Tsinghua University Center for Arts Education in Beijing, performed My Chinese Heart, a Chinese patriotic song, at the party.
"Three days before the gala, quite out of blue, I was notified that I was invited to perform," Xing said. “I was very surprised and nervous. Many of the audience are professionals. I knew that [if] I didn't play well, it might look like teaching a fish how to swim."
Xing cannot read music and has no professional training.
Despite her “fingers shaking,” Xing’s performance earned rich applause and latterly, online acclaim.
Xing’s last formal music lesson was at junior high school in a small town with one organ.
"Every week someone would bring in the organ and give us a music lesson,” she said. “Sometimes they would let us press it and listen to its sound, and that was my happiest moment."
In her spare time, Xing practices on an old out-of-tune piano. She figures out the fingers and chords herself.
"The epidemic has given me an in-depth realization on the power of our country and people, and I wanted to use this tune to express my gratitude and pride," Xing said.
Passion is not limited by age, Xing insists.
“While you are young, learn what you want to learn and make sure there are no regrets,” she said.
(Compiled by Yin Yue, edited by Dong Feng)