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The 16th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students East USA Preliminary & the 12th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for U.S. High School Students successfully held
2017/07/05

The 16th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students East USA Preliminary, a.k.a the 7th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for University Students in New England & The 12th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for U.S. High School Students were held at Confucius Institute at University of Massachusetts Boston on April 22, 2017. Consul General Zhang Qiyue and Education Counselor Xu Yongji of the Chinese Consulate General in New York, Provost of University of Massachusetts Boston Winston Langley, Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives Xia Zongguo, President of New York Service Center for Chinese Study Fellows,Inc. Qiu Ning, etc. attended the event.

Consul General Zhang Qiyue pointed out in her speech that the Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students which has been held for over ten years annually is not only a platform that allows Chinese learners of all ages to exchange and showcase their achievements in learning Chinese, also an important brand project that leads and demonstrates more and more teenagers in the U.S. to learn Chinese. She remarked that China-U.S. relations are about to start a new chapter and the two countries are establishing a new social and cultural issues dialogue mechanism. At this right time, it is of practical importance and historical significance to learn Chinese and understand China. Zhang also expressed her gratitude to all the parents and Chinese teachers for their vision and their great support and careful education for their children to learn Chinese.

Education Counselor Xu Yongji stated at the opening ceremony that for today’s American college students, learning Chinese well does not only means to master a practical language skill, it also opens a door to experience Chinese culture, as well as provides an opportunity to contribute themselves to the mutual understanding and exchanges of the two countries. Xu hoped that the students would continue learning Chinese well, so as to become the young envoys of promoting and maintaining the friendly relations between China and the U.S.

Provost of UMass Boston Winston Langley stated in his speech that the world situation today is complex and volatile and local conflicts continue to flare up, which is mainly because of the intercultural misunderstanding and prejudice. Only enough exchanges among different nations and cultures could achieve the steady development of international relations. Chinese Bridge is such an important platform to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries, especially the mutual understanding and friendship among the young people.

The Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students was sponsored by Confucius Institute Headquarters / Hanban and Chinese Consulate General in New York, with co-organizers including the Confucius Institute at UMass Boston, New York Service Center for Chinese Study Fellows, Inc. and the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS). A total of 24 college students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, etc. and 24 high school students from 19 states participated in the final competition. Nearly 300 people, including teachers and students, community residents, family and friends were invited to watch the competition at the scene.

The competition was composed of three sections: keynote speech, Chinese knowledge quiz and talent show. The contestants impressed the judges and the audience with their fluent Chinese, authentic expression and wonderful talents. They are full of passion and interests towards Chinese language and Chinese culture. They either told their stories of learning Chinese, or recalled their trips to China and their Chinese friends, so as to share their knowledge and understanding of Chinese culture and express their willingness to contribute to the cultural exchanges and common development of China and the U.S. The speech of the contestants showed their concern and thinking about different aspects of China. Some contestants told the “The Story I Have to Tell about Me and Chinese TV Drama”; some shared their experience of “Funny Restaurant”; some claimed that “I Want to Be the Future US Ambassador” to contribute to the friendly exchanges and common development of the two countries.

The talent show of the contestants was also brilliant. There was Peking opera performance, Erhu solo, Chinese dances, Chinese songs, Chinese martial arts and shuttlecock kicking. There were also “Guanju” and “Butterfly Lovers”, Chinese calligraphy and Chinese poetry recitation, Chinese tongue twisters, Kuaiban and crosstalk. Their wonderful talents fully demonstrated their achievement in learning Chinese language and culture, as well as brought the audience a feast of Chinese culture.

After competition, Elise Bukowski from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Galen Shrand from Roger Williams University, and Daniel McMonagle from Binghamton University won the first place prizes of the beginner group, intermediate group and advanced group of the 16th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students East USA Preliminary, respectively. The Grand Prize “Confucius Institute Cultural Ambassador” went to 6 winners, Elizabeth Murra from MIT, Sam Kyzivat from Bowdoin College, Russell Guilbault from University at Buffalo, and the three first place’s prizes winners. They were awarded a 10-day trip to Beijing, China with air tickets and all expenses covered by Hainan Airlines and the Confucius Institute Headquarters.

Rowan Macy from Saint Paul’s School in New Hampshire, Coleman Walsh from Belmont Hill School in Massachusetts, and Lindsay Berat from St. Edmund Preparatory High School in New York won the first place prizes of the beginner group, intermediate group and advanced group of the 12th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest for U.S. High School Students, respectively. All the winners were awarded the opportunity to participate in the Chinese Bridge Summer Camp in China sponsored by the Confucius Institute Headquarters.

The competition invited coordinator of Chinese Programs at Confucius Institute at UMass Boston Wang Shuhong, volunteer Chinese teacher of Confucius Institute Headquarters / Hanban Lin Xiuqin, and Chinese teachers Huang Xiaohuiyuan, Chen Tong, Li Aiming, Dong Hua, Wang Zhijun, Guo Xu, etc. from Harvard University, MIT, Dartmouth College, Northeastern University, UMass Amherst and UMass Boston as judges. Guests, judges and audience remarked that the Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition had become more and more wonderful year after year, and the level and ability of contestants had increased at the same time.

With the encouragement from the Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition and the joint efforts of all walks of life, more and more brilliant young people will start to be interested in Chinese culture, learn Chinese language, and continue to become the main force of spreading Chinese language and culture, promoting cultural exchanges and steady relations of China and the U.S.

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