Dolls Profile: Borana Hajdinaj

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Hi Borana! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What brought you out to Shanghai?

I’m currently a JD candidate with a focus on Education and Business at Emory University’s School of Law here on exchange at Jiao Tong University’s Koguan School of Law. I started my own academic consulting venture (www.lifedegreesociety.com) to help students mold themselves into a well-rounded individual and global citizen. With the huge impact China has been having in the world, and a growing number of students coming to the USA, for me, Shanghai was a must. Potential partnerships to create summer camps in America are unfolding, friendships with people from around the world are growing, and I am learning more than I ever thought I would about myself and others. It’s been a cultural and educational experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

What’s your favorite part about being in Shanghai?

My favorite part has been the mind transformation I’ve undergone. I feel that to really grow we need a dramatic shift in our lives, something that shakes you back awake. Living any life we learn a routine and tend to stick to it. Shanghai is like no other city in the world. I’ve traveled a lot and I still feel that this is the epitome of the city of new beginnings, something Great Gatsby like. The international community, the Chinese locals, the constant growth, it’s unbelievable. Turning 27 in Shanghai I am between the worlds of young woman and woman. I want to use these remaining years, without a family of my own and children, to make the most profound changes and ask all the life-altering questions that I can. Hoping that never stops but while this energy is flowing, I want to make the most of it!

What’s the best trip you’ve taken since you’ve been living in Asia?

I visited Guilin and the rice terraces in Longji and Longshen for a week, it was something out of a dream. The hills were carved immaculately and we walked as if on a never-ending dragon’s back. The fresh air, the delicious bamboo, and the savory tea, I will remember it always.

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What’s your favorite restaurant in Shanghai?

I don’t have one, love food too much to choose! I would recommend trying any street food, not for the delicate stomach but DELISH, Pasha is a Turkish place I adore, and Shanghai Brewery has amazing burgers.

What’s your favorite thing to do on the weekends in our vibrant city?

Eat, drink, and be merry. Being on a rooftop in Shanghai is surreal, so I try and find them wherever I can, whether it’s Bar Rouge, Azul, or Kartel. Anywhere I can see the sky and feel small and on top of the world at the same time…I’m there.

Can you give any advice to our new girls in town?

Be here, resist nothing, exist in the present. Before you know it the next chapter will start and you could have missed all that it is you were destined to see in this glorious city. Find a mantra for your life and live by it. Mine is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, the last teaching of the Buddha called the Lotus Sutra… It means “I devote myself to the mystic law of cause and effect through my voice/teaching.” Every cause you make on the earth, whether it’s a thought, word, or action, has an effect on the earth. When you unleash your energy onto this world then it’s just a matter of time that you attract it back to you. Thank you Dolls for the cause you’ve made in my life and for allowing me into yours. Wishing you all happiness and peace!

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