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People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, Innovation Origins has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven.

Name: Hui Pu
Country of origin: China
Work: Project assistant at Indumes and guide at Philips Museum

It is busy at the Philips Museum when we meet Hui in the hall. We decide to settle down down the road at Coffeelovers for the interview and then later on head back to the museum to take photos. “The museum was founded five years ago and I have been involved as a guide almost from the beginning. I can see how visitor numbers continue to rise and that is great for the museum,” says Hui, “Most volunteers are retired Philips employees. I saw my neighbour with a shirt from the museum and asked him what he was doing there. After his story, I was immediately excited to also become a volunteer, because I worked at Philips in China. In fact, we need more guides who speak the Chinese language, because we welcome more and more groups of Chinese people at the museum. They are always surprised that I’m able to show them around in their own language.”

“I think it’s wonderful that the museum is mostly run with the help of volunteers. There are of course a number of permanent employees, but the volunteer group is large and very loyal. I think that is remarkable. But I also see that associations in the Netherlands for a large part exists thanks to many volunteers. Especially at carnival clubs and sports clubs and also the museum. I feel so at home there! I enjoy telling the stories. What is also very nice is that we get a lot of young people who work at Philips as visitors. For them, it is good to see what their employer has contributed to the industrial revolution and which inspiring designs have all come from Philips. We can give it a place in time for them and ensure that people have a frame of reference.”

(Story continues after photo)

Hui married a Dutchman she met when she worked in China at a joint venture of Philips Medical Systems. After a while, her husband changed jobs and together they left for South Korea. Their son was born there. After another few more years in China, they moved to the Netherlands. “That was in 2010. In the beginning, I thought it was all pretty exciting. Especially for our son who would go to elementary school here. Would he be able to follow the lessons at school in Dutch? The start at school did not go flawlessly. He was not invited to a children’s party and that hurt me as a mother. The reason was that the child did not know my child well enough yet. In China, you would invite someone, also with the reason that the new person feels welcome. In the end, it all went well and now he is in the final year of secondary school at the vwo level. He is extremely motivated and proud of the roots of both his parents. Next year he would like to study Architecture.”

Hui is very enthusiastic about Eindhoven and all the things she can do here. “I never want to leave Eindhoven. I can do so much here! Did you know that we have a Chinese school with courses every Saturday at the Eckart College? And I really like cooking and I can get everything here. It is a pity that the Netherlands does not really have a food culture. I go to the Woenselse Markt every Saturday. I like to get fish there. A lot of fish is cheap there, some types of sea fish are more expensive in Nanjing. In my spare time, I play Chinese flute. I really wanted to do that together with other people. At the Chinese school, a woman told me that she was a member of a Chinese opera company in Eindhoven. I was very surprised, but also very happy. I am now part of the music ensemble that accompanies the opera singers.” Hui proudly shows a number of photos of a performance. “The local Chinese cultural group joins forces with the CKE (Center for the Arts) for this.”

Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel
Read more stories of internationals here.