Source: PAN Geping, Xinhua News Agency
On May 6th, the 10th Chinese Bridge, Chinese Proficiency Competition for High School Students, whose theme was “Learn Chinese and make friends all over the World”, and the 16th Chinese Bridge for Foreign College Students, whose theme was “Dreams Enlighten the Future”, kicked off at the China Cultural Center in Brussels for the preliminary rounds of the Belgian Division in 2017.
11 high school students and 8 college students from Belgium participated in the competition. Speeches were given in Chinese by each contestant on their personal stories of Chinese language learning and their love for China. The contestants answered questions raised by the judges, and responded to randomly-chosen questions on Chinese language, Chinese national conditions, and cultural knowledge. During the talent show part, the contestants demonstrated their love for Chinese culture through Chinese pop song singing, calligraphy demonstrating, poetry reciting, paper cutting, “Kuaiban” (a rhythmic oral storytelling technique set to bamboo clappers), short sketch performance and many other forms of talent show.
Using “dreams” as a topic, Lionel Willems from the Catholic University of Leuven (Université catholique de Louvain) said in his speech that “My dream is to start my career in China, it is because China is a very promising, growth-oriented country.”
Second prize winner Dorien Willekens who is about to graduate from the University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), described her dream of being a Chinese language teacher. “If I become a Chinese teacher, not only will I be able to help students broaden their horizons, but also to establish a bridge between the East and the West for enhancing mutual communication and understanding.”
After an intense competition, Manon Locht, majored in Translation and Interpretation of Chinese Language from the Université libre de Bruxelles won the First Prize in the competition for College Students. Vincent Thielens from the Secondary School of Saint-Michel Gosselies was the Champion of the Competition for High School Students. By convention, the winners of the Competition for College Students and for High School Students will travel to China in July and in the end of October respectively, representing Belgium in the “Chinese Bridge” finals in China.
Mr. Tao Hongjian, Counselor for Education of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Belgium, praised the contestants in his concluding remarks for their excellent performances. He said that holding the Chinese Bridge Competition encourages international young students to learn Chinese and strengthens their exchanges with China. The objective of such an event is to “build a bridge for spiritual communication” and to further develop mutual understanding and exchanges between China and people from all around the world.