“Learn Chinese to make more friends”
On April 1, the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury (CIUC), New Zealand together with the Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China at Christchurch held the 10th Chinese Bridge Competition finals for the South Island at Lincoln High School. 19 competitors, from all over the South Island, entered this final round. More than one hundred students’ parents and relatives came to the competition venue to support their children. The Chinese Consul-General, JIN Zhijian, Chinese Education-Consul Zhai Jianjun and Diversity and Engagement Adviser from the New Zealand Office of Ethnic Communities Candy Zhang also presented awards at the ceremony and gave speeches.
The topic for this year’s competition was “ 学会中国话，朋友遍天下” (Learn Chinese to make more friends). Each competitor had three components to their performance: speech, questions and answers and talent show. One of the judges from senior category said that it was very hard to decide who the best was, because they all did a great job. For the talent show section, students thought very hard about how they could give a talent performance that was in some way related to Chinese culture. One of the students gave a violin solo of “茉莉花 (Jasmine Flower)”, a well-known Chinese tune, another sang the famous Chinese song “月亮代表我的心 (The moon represents my heart)”, another one performed a Chinese folk dance to a classical Chinese music. All their speeches and performances were applauded by the audience and acknowledged by the judges.
Finally, five students from senior category were selected to represent the South Island at the New Zealand national competition. Nathan Taylor from the University of Canterbury will represent CIUC to attend the worldwide competition which will be held in China.
Michael Perry from the University of Canterbury also shared his experience of the worldwide Chinese Bridge Competition in China during the award ceremony. He said he made lots of friends from all over the world when he was in China. “We all grew up in different cultural backgrounds and spoke different languages but Chinese brought us together.”
Candy Zhang from the office of Ethnic Communities said New Zealand was encouraging of diversity and urged more students to study Chinese and learn about Chinese culture. Chinese Consul- General JIN Zhijian quoted statistics from the New Zealand Ministry of Education and said “More than 300 schools in New Zealand have now started Chinese courses and Chinese has become one of the most welcome foreign languages. The trend to open more Chinese courses is still increasing which means that there are more opportunities those of you who can speak Chinese, besides you all contribute to strenthening the tie between China and New Zealand.”
Candy Zhang giving a speech.
Danella Smithies giving her speech.
JIN Zhijian speaking at the awards ceremony.
JIN Zhijian presenting an award to Madison Millar of Middleton Grange School.
JIN Zhijian presenting an award to the winner of the tertiary category, Nathan Taylor.
Taylin Smith performing a Chinese folk dance.
Terina Yee receiving an award from JIN Zhijian for Best Coach.