Leehom Wang speaks at Oxford University

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Leehom Wang becomes the first Chinese singer to be invited as a speaker for the Oxford Union at the University of Oxford on 21 April 2013.

The Oxford Union, whose membership is drawn primarily but not exclusively from the University of Oxford has often invited distinguished speakers namely, Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson, Richard Nixon, Johnny Depp, Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill. The organiser has invited Leehom due to his influential power in Asian, particularly in China and saying that “he is qualified to propagate the Chinese culture”.

Leehom was honoured about the invitation and said, “I am very happy that I have another opportunity to fulfill my mission, and that is to promote the Chinese pop culture to the world.”

Before his speech, Leehom asked to observe a minute of silence for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake and the Boston marathon bombing. He also announced that he would contribute and donate to the World Vision to help the needy people.

Speaking on the theme of “Understanding Chinese Pop”, Leehom shared about how he felt alienated in his young days despite seeing himself as an American.

“I have stayed in New York and rarely spoke a word of Chinese. I do not know the difference of Taiwan and Thailand, until one-day at a third grade playground, the inevitable finally happened. I got teased for being a Chinese.”

Leehom further shared how music had helped him to integrate in the Western society. “As soon as I started playing music or singing, the other kids would forget about my race and my skin colour and then they will see me for who I am.”

Leehom’s music then drew attention from a Vietamese school janitor who was touched by his passion and wrote to him saying, “In all my years of working as janitor, you are the first Asian boy who played the lead role. I am going to bring my six year old daughter to watch you because I want her to see that you inspire her.”

Subsequently, the little girl wrote a letter to Leehom and thanked him for inspiring her. Leehom said that it was the first time he felt that music and acting changed his life. His mission to propagate Chinese pop culture also started there.

Leehom also took the opportunity to introduce the songs of the Chinese artistes such as A-Mei, David Tao, Teresa Teng and Tsai Chin. He hopes that people can enjoy the  classic works of these talented Chinese artistes.

Source: Apple Daily

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