“Kung Fu Boy” and “Ocarina Lad” Dominate Final of “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students in Brazil Division

[Source]    Xinhuanet.com [Time]    2017-07-05 17:21:41 

The Final of the 10th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students in Brazil Division ended in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro on June 25th. The first prize winners were Ma Feilong, from the state of Sao Paulo for his outstanding Chinese Kung Fu, and Li Xiang, from the state of Rio de Janeiro for his excellent ocarina playing.

Ma Feilong (left) and Li Xiang (middle), the first prize winners, showing their certificates on June 25th, in the city of Niterói, Rio de Janeiro

The competition was comprised of four sections: “Chinese culture Q&A”, “self-introduction”, “keynote speech” and “talent show”. Eleven students from the middle schools affiliated to four Confucius Institutes in Brazil participated in the competition.

The theme of the speech was “My Chinese Dream”, and the titles of the contestants’ speeches showed how careful and full their preparations were, such as Where There is a Dream to Chase, There is No Limit to Develop, The Beauty of Books—The Dream of Chinese, China—Where Dreams Begin, and Dreams Come True. Although some students had learned Chinese just for a few months and the rhythm of Chinese was not well grasped, their love for Chinese and their diligence in learning reflected in the speeches won them continuous applause from the audience.

For Brazilian students who are good at both singing and dancing, their performances in the talent show are particularly handy with facility. Chinese dances, Chinese Kung Fu, Chinese songs, cello performance and other forms of performances won rounds of applause from the audience. Kung Fu medley by Ma Feilong includes double broadswords, meteor hammer and monkey boxing, which demonstrated his solid knowledge and training. Due to the powerful moves of the broadswords and the interesting and humorous performance of monkey boxing, he won the champion of individual event in the talent show.

Ma Feilong, a 16-year-old boy, started to learn martial arts from childhood. He participated in a martial arts competition at E’mei Mountain in 2014, which sparked his strong interests in Chinese culture. As such, he began to learn Chinese after his return to Brazil, and the more Chinese he learned, the more vitality he injected into his study.

Ma Feilong introducing himself in the competition on June 25th, in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ma Feilong was a bit surprised at his score, which is the highest in the contest. He said: "I am really nervous, but fortunately, students who participated in the last year’s competition passed on some experience to me." Ma Feilong dreams to go to the University of São Paulo, aiming to major in international relations. On top of that, he wants to do some researches on China-Brazil relations.

Li Xiang, a student from Portuguese-Chinese Bilingual High School affiliated to the Confucius Institute at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio De Janeiro, watched the movie Ip Man by chance, and he began to develop strong interests in Chinese Kung Fu and China. As a result, he registered for the examination of the Portuguese-Chinese Bilingual High School. However, he won over the judges with an ocarina rather than Chinese Kung Fu.

Li Xiang playing the ocarina in the talent show section of the competition on June 25th, in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Li Xiang would like to have a personal experience of Chinese culture which he has learnt from books through a trip to China. He said: “I want to go to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City, and there are so many places I want to go to. I like Chinese, especially Chinese culture, and I can’t wait to embark on the trip now!”

Shi Zequn, Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Brazil,has watched the final of the Chinese Bridge Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students in Brazil for 3 consecutive years and has been deeply impressed by the progress of Brazilian students. He commented: “Learning Chinese language keeps gaining popularity in recent years in Brazil and the number of people learning Chinese language in Brazil is growing. The language competence and skills of the students are also greatly enriched”.

He said that more and more Chinese enterprises have invested in Brazil, and many Brazilians learning Chinese language have been trying to be more proficient in Chinese in order to land a better job. Some young people in Brazil expressed: “The 21st Century is a century of China and we should learn Chinese language well, because there are more opportunities in China.”

(Story by Chen Weihua, Zhao Yan, Xinhua News Agency, Niterói, June 25th)