Because of China: How 14-year-old Happy Rogers became a Mandarin-language maven

“My father once came home from China when I was only five years old with all 52 episodes of The Monkey King. Within a week, I watched all of them. And for a long time after that, I decided that I was Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, and I had magical powers, could roll around, and do all sorts of things,” said Happy Rogers, sharing her love of Chinese language and culture on The Point’s year-end special “Because of China.”
To provide their children with more exposure to the Chinese language, Happy’s parents decided to relocate the family from the United States to Singapore when Happy was just four years old.
“My parents are so keen on me learning Mandarin,” Happy recalled. Her father, Jim Rogers, a prominent investor and best-selling author, once defined the move as an investment in his daughters’ future.
Although she lives in Singapore, Happy visits China every opportunity she gets. She has been to so many “amazing places in China” – Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Dalian, and many others.
“Everywhere I go in China, I fall in love with the scenery, the people, the history, the qipaos, the dumplings!”
Now, Happy has become famous herself in China, calling herself the “little Barbie doll” on Chinese social media after a video appeared of her and her little sister perfectly reciting classic Chinese poems and tongue twisters.
When it comes to her dreams for the future, Happy said she wants to move to China and become an actress.
“If I were to go to Hollywood or America, there are so many people who look exactly like me, speaking English just as well as I can. But if I come to China, this little Barbie doll who can speak Chinese – that is something different,” Happy said, her eyes shining with pride.