Global Cultural Phenomenon “If You Are The One” Enables Australians To Better Understand Modern China

Confucius Institute at the University of Melbourne


Following on the from sold out “Understanding Modern China Through If You Are The One” panel discussion in 2015, the Confucius Institute at the University of Melbourne held its hugely anticipated follow up event on March 1st to a packed out theatre of over 450 people. Following on from the recent Australian specials hosted by local TV station, SBS 2, the event was titled “If You Are the One Australian Special - Stories From Backstage."

Dr Han Jing, Director of the SBS Subtitle Department, who has translated all 150 episodes of the show in Australia opened the discussion and explored why the show has become a cultural phenomenon in Australia and the modern day attitudes to dating and marriage in today’s China. Dr Han gave an insight into the world of translation and how SBS was involved the process of getting the Australian episode to air. Dr Han’s translations are a major reason why the show is so popular in Australia and received a warm response from the audience.

The event also featured previous participants from the show, Wu Zhengzhen, a contestant in 2011 as well as recent Australian Special contestants Clarissa Belanti and Thomas Tang who shared their unique experiences backstage. In an emotional moment Wu Zhengzhen explained her love story of meeting her now husband and father of their child through the show. With so many “If You Are The One” fans in the audience, they took extreme pleasure in the Q&A section, and were able to ask many of the superstars the questions they’d be dying to ask. A highlight included a question from a seven year old girl who is learning Chinese in primary school, who asked for language learning tips off Clarissa.

Through shows like “If You Are The One” we hope that Australians will be able to have an increased understanding of modern China, just as Chinese viewers were able to gain an insight into modern Australian society through the Australian Specials.