The heroine in action. Photo by eye-witness Wang Ronggui via Shanghai Daily.
Remember the woman who saved a girl attempting suicide in Hangzhou’s West Lake? Earlier media reports said she’s American. Well, apparently she’s a Uruguayan expatriate living here in Shanghai with her husband, and her name is Maria Fernandes.
The Chinese press have finally caught up with our heroine, and she says that while she understands why the incident has led to more soul-searching within Chinese society, she remains furious with the bystanders who were more interested in taking her pictures than anything else. Here’s what she said to Shanghai Daily:
“As a foreigner who jumped into the water to save people, I understand the whole society has this question of why a foreigner has to do this rather than Chinese,” she said. “But I don’t think it’s the key question.”
“The thing is, when I was coming out of the water with the woman, I saw there were at least seven or eight cameras taking photos of us. I was a little angry and sad, I started to yell in English, ‘what are you doing? She was dying and you were only thinking about taking pictures? Life is more important!'” said Fernanda.
“I was angry because the crowd was just curious and simply watching us – it’s not a fashion show,” she added.
Fernanda said she would rather believe the crowd was in shock than indifferent.
“I think it’s not a Chinese problem, it’s a global problem. Nowadays, we live in a hurry, everybody is always on the way to somewhere, nobody can take time to look at human value – I’m happy to see people start to think about it again, as for me it’s very important.”
More here if you read Spanish.