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Friday, January 06, 2006

Flora Chan & Her Ex Encourages Each Other

Flora Chan And Ex-Husband Encourage Each Other To Find Another Partner
Hong Kong actress Flora Chan is quite popular in Mainland China. She has had outstanding performances in various popular Hong Kong television dramas, such as Untraceable Evidence, At the Threshold of an Era, Healing Hands, etc. Her image as an intelligent career woman has won the hearts of many, and her real life character also encompasses the characteristics of a strong woman. Flora migrated to USA when she was young, and has since developed an independent and decisive character. When she first decided to come back to Hong Kong to develop her career, she also put up with the stress that her parents exerted on her. Although she has experienced a failed marriage, she still feels fortunate nevertheless. “Because we are still good friends that care for each other, just like a brother and a sister.” On 9th January, Flora will be sharing her life stories with the audience of East Television Arts Channel.

Receiving Chinese-Style Education While Being In The West
Flora was born in Hong Kong. When she was very young, her whole family migrated to USA. “During that time, my father was teaching dance at the Hong Kong TV station. He was doing very well, but for the sake of my elder sister, younger brother and I, he chose to migrate.” When they were in USA, her father had to hold three jobs in order to maintain the family. “He was a bilingual teacher, a dance teacher, and he had to fork out time for his Master’s degree. Thus I had very few chances of seeing my father when I was young. What I could do was to study hard and obtain good results for him.”

Although they were living in a Westernized country, Flora’s parents continued using the Chinese methods to educate her. “For example, when my grades were not satisfactory, my father would punish me and lecture me for two or three hours. However at that time, I felt contradicted; on one hand I was very happy because I finally got a chance to be with my father; on the other hand, I felt guilty because I had made him angry.” Flora’s father had taught her a principle, that is, we have to be answerable to ourselves in whatever we do. “It does not matter if you cannot study well or your grades are unsatisfactory, but rather, whether you have given your best in it.”

Past Dream Of Being A Dancer
Flora recalls that when she first arrived in USA, she found it difficult to blend in with the social environment due to language barriers. A lot of people there bullied them because they are Chinese. “During that time, USA had not fully understood China, but we had a strong sense of national pride. There was once when my friend and I were taking photographs in the park, an American girl walked towards us and she refused to allow us to take photographs, saying that we would disrupt the surroundings. However she did not say anything to another American child who was also taking photographs there. It was obvious that they discriminated us Chinese, but I was not afraid of her and went up to reason with her.”

Like the American children, Flora has matured at an early stage. At the age of twelve or thirteen, already there were admirers of this pretty Chinese girl. However her parents had set the rules that Flora could only start dating when she reached eighteen years old. “But I had already started dating when I was fifteen. My parents also forbade me to put on makeup, but I was not very obedient, and started putting on makeup when I was thirteen or fourteen. I usually put on makeup immediately after leaving home, and I would remove it after school before I went home.” Flora said that her parents had never thought she would one day become a star. “I was very interested in dance because my father danced too. When I was young I wanted to become a dancer, at that time, my father was teaching me Chinese dance, while I learnt Jazz outside.” However Flora was not able to fulfill her dreams. “Because I once had a serious fall when I was dancing ballet, and hurt my leg as a result. I could not continue dancing anymore, and I was very upset over it for a few years.”

Friends After Breakup
After graduating from university, Flora became a reporter in an American television station. “During those times, the Chinese had very little career opportunities, therefore in 1994, I made a decision to leave USA to make a name for myself.” At that time, Flora was already together with her current ex-husband. “We planned to go to Hong Kong together. I had a big quarrel with my parents then, because they could not bear for me to leave them.”

Flora laughed and said that her encounter with her ex-husband was very romantic, just like in the movies. “That time, my family was staying in Boston, and he came to USA for his Ph.D. He had rented one of the houses beside mine, everyday he would purposely wait for me to leave the house, and pretended that he coincidentally met me. He then greeted me, sent me to school, and treated me to breakfast.” Flora said that she had fallen in love with this handsome Hong Kong young man at first sight. The two of them dated for seven years before getting married. When they returned to Hong Kong, Flora had sent in many application forms to various television stations, but due to her poor Mandarin, only Pearl Station gave her a role as a reporter. Four months later, the elegant and sophisticated Flora became a host due to work requirements. And with her ex-husband finding a good-paying job as a teacher, both of them lived in comfort.

Ex-Husband Encourages Her To Find A Boyfriend
Soon after that, Flora stepped on the road to acting. During those days, whenever we turned on the television, all we saw on TV were dramas that Flora participated in. Probably because Flora had been too busy, her relationship with her ex-husband had some problems. “The feeling had ceased off, there was no more love between us, and the original feeling was lost.” Flora would not like to comment on the reason for the split. “Initially this reason was very important, but as time goes by, I feel that this reason is no longer important. The most important thing is that he and I are still very good friends. Even though we have broken up, we still care for each other very much, just like brothers and sisters. He encourages me very often, saying that I should grab the chance to get to know more fine men. And I in turn always ask him whether there are any outstanding ladies out there for him to get to know.”

That year when Flora and her ex-husband were divorced all of a sudden, Flora was not used to being alone initially. “Because from young, I was always under the care of my parents, then I met him (her ex-husband) in my teens, and had him to care for me. Therefore I had never really lived on my own before. When we just broke up, it was truly difficult for me. Although I would sometimes ring him up to confide in him, however we were nevertheless already divorced. The feeling was different, and I could not possibly disturb him all the time. But fortunately there were many friends supporting me by my side at that time, they would rush down to accompany me whenever I called them up. When I was at my saddest moment, I would drive the car and tune the music to the maximum, and cry my heart out in the car. Our relationship lasted for ten-odd years, and just like a birthmark, it can never be erased from my heart.” However Flora did not regret coming back to Hong Kong and becoming a star. “Because all these happened very naturally, I find a good reason for anything that I do, that is why I naturally came to where I am now. I am very contented with my current life.”

Filming 'ATE' At Her Lowest Point Of Her Life
Flora once had a very low point in her life, and she still remembers it very clearly. “That was during the filming of 'At the Threshold of an Era', around half a year ago, I was already feeling unwell, but I had to continue with the filming non-stop. One day I was down with the flu, a week later I felt something wrong with my ear, because I was constantly hearing buzzing noises in my head.” However, at that time Flora did not realize the seriousness of the matter. “I only felt that I had to report to work, and had to be responsible towards the executive producer and the rest of the cast. But the people around me were wondering why I had NG-ed so many times. My friends were all worried about me. The doctor had also warned me three times, that if I carried on without rest, I will eventually become deaf. I did not listen to him the first two times, but my ex-husband and friends had repeatedly encouraged me to leave the film setting immediately to rest, and that if I had rested then, my career would be better in future.”

Flora left Hong Kong for home in USA with the accompaniment of her ex-husband. “My parents were heartbroken, even though they did not say much, but they were silently by my side and supporting me morally.” After striving for so many years in Hong Kong, once again Flora had a taste of being taken cared of. “I found a very good Chinese medicine practitioner. Under the care of my family members, the buzzing noises in my head soon disappeared. At that point was when I finally understood my parents and treasured their love for me.” Flora said that when her parents visited her in Hong Kong, “Everyday they would wait for me to wake up and have breakfast with me. While waiting, they would sit in the living room to watch television. Everyday, when I opened the door of my bedroom, and seeing that what greeted me was the back view of two elderly persons sitting on the sofa, I felt immensely fortunate.”

[X] credit: Xue


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