Life on Campus / Spring 2014
Our Man in Beijing

Cultures meet at Sid Smith Hall


Mark Rowswell (Dashan)

Mark Rowswell (left) greets U of T students

Mark Rowswell (BA 1988 UC), who’s famous to hundreds of millions of television viewers in China for his 20-plus-year career there as a performer and TV host, recently gave a talk at Sidney Smith Hall, hosted by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association. “Dashan” (or “Big Mountain”), as he is known in his adopted home, spoke to the group – in Mandarin – about his personal journey from Ottawa to Toronto to Beijing and his insights into Chinese-Western relations.

Rowswell, who says he is a foreigner in China “but not an outsider,” is passionate about improving the dialogue between east and west. “The worst thing,” he says, “is not to have a problem communicating, but to have a problem and not realize it.” After his speech, Rowswell greeted and took pictures with students and fans. “Everything he said came from his heart,” says Kyle Xu, a first-year UTSC student. “He was funny, impactful and very inspiring.”


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