Fun With Chinese, Hope Of Success
Review of the 8th "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Student

[Source]    Hanban [Time]    2009-09-08 14:06:52 

“Chinese Aces” in Joyful Competition

On July 14, these lovely contest- ants, with the fruits of their trip, arrived in Changsha, the final arena for the three semi-finals and finals.

The semi-finals were divided into three groups: Shanghai, Qingdao and Fenghuang, each to shortlist ten contestants for the finals. Even with the pressure, the youthful faces didn’t exude much nervousness. They excitedly looked forward to the finals. They believed the “Chinese Bridge” competition is an opportunity to get acquainted with Chinese culture and make great friends. More importantly, they finally got the chance to stand on a stage in China, declaring to the whole world their love for Chinese Culture.

The competitive semi-finals resulted in 30 finalists. At the first around of the finals, Sophie Matthe, a Belgian girl, played a funny, alternative Bai Suzhen. Elegantly dressed, she began her show with an exciting dance with Xu Xian, her husband in the play. She professed to be a perfect lady who was “white”, “simple” and “faithful”, as the three characters in her name (Bai Suzhen) indicated respectively. Her characterization of the heroine, which was entirely distinct from the traditional one, together with her creative speech, won profuse acclaims from the judges. The “Monkey King”, as played by a lad from Russia, enjoyed a feast to his heart’s content at the Fire Palace; then he sold his mutton shashliks. To attract “customers”, he claimed that his mutton was from lambs that “fed on Chinese herbal medicine, drank mineral water, and produced multiflavored droppings”. He was the very image of a true Uyghur vendor.

Though all the contestants were fluent in Chinese and outstandingly talented, the com- petition had to turn out a winner. Twelve short- listed out of thirty! Then six out of twelve! At last came the final competition. Having displayed their characteristics and debated passionately, the six finalists brought the house down by reinterpreting, in their novel way, three traditional Chinese stories. "Liang Shabo and Zhu Yingtai" starring Sophie and Iwasaki Motoji (Japan) was saddening and touching. Randy (U.S.) and Zhigarkov (Russia)’s "Red Cliff" was reminiscent of the chaotic three kingdoms 1800 years ago. Katie (Australia) and Bayka(New Zealand) put on "a Flirting Scholar and a Servant Girl". The amusing version proved to be a visual feast.

Tang Bohu (Bayka) was swept off his feet by a pretty maid named Qiuxiang (Katie) in the Hua family. Tang managed to get into Hua residence only to meet many obstacles from Mrs. Hua (Varadi Viktoria from Hungary). Hence, there arose consecutive conflicts between Tang and Mrs. Hua. Their witty conversations, hilarious actions, and clever citations of the classical lyrics in The Eagle Shooting Heroes, a Hong Kong movie, added to the humor of the traditional romance, much to the delight of the audience.

Finally Sophie, the Belgian girl who was keen on cheongsam and classical Chinese culture, was awarded the champion’s laurel.

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