‘Exotic’ woman of Pakistani descent adopted by Chinese couple as baby amasses huge following on mainland social media, vows to repay parents


By Fran Lu

Chinese couple work in Pakistan, find baby girl in cardboard box on street. Dubbed ‘Cleopatra’, she posts videos of herself, attracts 750,000 followers. — SCMP

A beautiful young woman of Pakistani descent, who was adopted by a couple in China when she was a baby, is attracting attention for the contrast between her “exotic” looks and Chinese accent.

The woman, 20, has amassed 750,000 followers on Douyin, and videos of her have gone viral.

She was found abandoned in a cardboard box on the street in Pakistan by her adoptive parents when they were working in the country.

The couple brought her back to their hometown in a rural area of central China’s Henan province, and called her Fan Zihe, an auspicious name meaning “vigorous and long-lived”. She remains their only child.

The now 20-year-old was adopted by her parents after they found her left on the street in a cardboard box in Pakistan. Photo: Douyin

Fan first attracted attention on social media in 2021, when she posted a video of herself eating traditional Henan noodles while squatting in front of her village house.

The contrast between her appearance and her native Henan dialect piqued the curiosity of many.

Some joked that she “looks like a supermodel until she opens her mouth”, and dubbed her “Henan’s Cleopatra”.

Her content since has focused on the contrast, even though she considers her activities in the videos – farming, eating noodles and asking for lucky money from the elderly of the family – just normal daily life.

Fan said her parents have always treated her as though she is their biological daughter, and defended her whenever people said she looked different – even referring to her by the nickname “little black girl”.

“Our daughter’s dark skin is beautiful and healthy,” they said.

Fan, who identifies as Chinese said she was grateful that her parents gave her a home without hesitation and that they brushed off the judgments of other people.

She said she wants to buy them a flat in the city to repay them.

The woman has wowed social media with her posts and vowed to repay her parents for their love and kindness. Photo: Douyin

“People say loving a person is like growing a flower. I think the best gardeners are my parents,” Fan said.

She told a Henan media outlet, Pingdingshan News, that she earns 4,000 yuan (RM2,612 or US$550) a month from her Douyin account, more than Chinese farmers’ average salary, which was 1,678 yuan (RM1,096) a month in 2022.

“Love transcends borders and race. They are her only parents and she is their only daughter,” said one online observer on Douyin.

“Who said you look different? Your kindness looks exactly the same,” another person said. – South China Morning Post

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