China, Where Dream Starts——Ukraine Preliminary Round of 16th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students

[Source]    Xinhua News Agency [Time]    2017-05-25 14:09:53 

“I wish to serve as a bridge for China-Ukraine friendship and make my own contributions to the ‘Silk Road’”. “Soon after I started to learn Chinese, I fell in love with everything about China”. “I hope to go to China to learn Chinese and visit the Great Wall”. “I decide to master Chinese so as to lift the veil of this mysterious country”.

On May 12th, 12 college students from 7 different cities in Ukraine such as Kiev, Odessa, Lviv and Kharkiv, expressed their feelings in Chinese with their utmost passion at the Ukraine Preliminary Round of the 16th Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students. For them, China is where their dreams start.

The competition was held in the auditorium of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. The 12 contestants showcased themselves through three rounds of competition: keynote speech, Chinese culture Q&A and talent show, trying to stand out and win a place in the final competition held in China.The theme for the speech in the speech section was “Dreams Enlighten the Future”. Contestants shared in Chinese their close ties with China, their fondness for Chinese culture and desire to fulfill their dreams.

Genese, a freshman from Sumy State University, who has a Chinese name called Zhang Jini, has been learning Chinese for only 5 months, but is good enough to attend the competition held in Kiev. His participation in the competition also marked the expansion of the “Chinese Bridge” in Ukraine to Sumy for the first time.

It is said that a Confucius Classroom will be opened in Sumy this September. Genese said he would work hard to become a “top student of Chinese” in that class.“Although I got the lowest scores in the speech section, I won’t change my dream of going to China to learn Chinese and I will work even harder”, he told the journalist after the competition.

Daria (Chinese name: Li Mingran) from Kyiv National Linguistic University gave the most impressive speech. Within 3 minutes, she told the audience why China is where her dream started in fluent and native Chinese. Learning Chinese has enabled her to understand what she really craves for deep in her heart.

“I have been making a lot of efforts to realize my dream of ‘learning Chinese well so as to get to know China’, for which I also feel grateful. My experience of studying in Tongji University in Shanghai during the junior year allowed me to taste the happiness of growing up. China has changed my life and, in the future, I will fly higher and further with my dream”. She expressed in the speech.

Li Mingran giving the speech China, Wings of My Dream

Li Mingran performing a song and dance Moonlight Pours on the West Chamber

Through nearly 3 hours of breathtaking competition, Kushchenko, a sophomore from Kyiv National Linguistic University, won the first prize. The boy who stated “being obsessed with everything about China” gave himself a Chinese name called “Hua Yuanxiang”, meaning the dream of “going to China—the distant hometown”.Daria and Sophia from South Ukrainian National Pedagogical University bore away the second prize.

Hua Yuanxiang giving the speech My Dream Leads Me to the Distant Hometown

Hua Yuanxiang playing the guitar and singing A Letter Home

Winners receiving awards

Shi Yajun, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Kyiv National Linguistic University, received an interview during the interval. He said that there were more contestants and organizations participating in the competition this year, and some schools without a Confucius Institute but Chinese courses instead also sent representatives to attend the competition. He also stated that the contestants are better-prepared and had a better command of Chinese and better performance in their speeches than before. Ukrainian Students pay increasing attention to Chinese and the “Chinese Bridge” competition. Moreover, the competition this year also reached more regions in the country than before, covering almost the entire Ukraine.

Du Wei, Chinese Ambassador to Ukraine, in his opening remarks for the competition, spoke highly of the achievements Ukraine has made in Chinese teaching in recent years. He said that Ukrainian students have maintained top three in the “Chinese Bridge” global final since 2013.

The current “Chinese Fever” in Ukraine is closely related to China’s increasing influence and the popularity of the “Belt and Road” initiative. More and more youngsters from Ukraine are learning Chinese with greater efforts, tightly connecting their dreams with China.

Story by Zhong Zhong, Chen Junfeng, Xinhua News Agency; Photos by Confucius Institute at Kyiv National Linguistic University