“Chinese Craze” Bridges a Dream for Global Teenagers

[Source]    xinhuanet.com [Time]    2017-11-03 14:26:12 

“Being a doctor, I can operate advanced medical equipment meanwhile giving diagnoses and prescriptions with the knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine…”, said Bai Lin, an American contestant in the 10th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students. A few days ago, students from 96 countries gathered in Yunnan Province to participate in the competition. On behalf of all contestants, Bai Lin delivered a speech about her medical dream affectionately in a poetry-recital tone.

Bai Lin (in the middle), from New York, delivering a speech (Photo by Xinhua News Agency)

Bai Lin was the champion of New York State Preliminary Round of the 10th “Chinese Bridge” Competition. Her excellent Chinese had given her the courage to achieve her dream. Bai Lin’s mother, a university professor, once came to China for academic exchange in early years. It was her mother’s rich experience in China that had ignited her interest in Chinese learning.

In 2005, 4-year-old Bai enrolled in a Chinese-English bilingual school. Since then, pondering over Chinese characters and appreciating Chinese culture in Chinatown have become a part of her life.

She said that learning Chinese has brought her a diversified view and helped her appreciate the essence of Chinese culture. “After I graduate from college, I will further my study in China.”

Just like Bai Lin, learning Chinese is assisting more and more foreign students in developing multiple perspectives and harvesting happiness on their roads to achieve dreams; it is also assumed as a highly-rewarding investment especially for business elites.

At the meantime, “Chinese Craze” has deepened westerners’ understandings of China, which is no longer confined to pandas, the Great Wall, and Bruce Lee. 17-year-old Di Renze, from Rome, Italy, was learning Chinese systematically at a local Confucius Institute. “In the past, I learned about China mainly through TV programs; however, after I have learned Chinese, I noticed that both ancient China and ancient Rome have nurtured splendid civilizations in human history.” said Di.

“In the future, I hope to familiarize myself with the civilization of ancient Rome and ancient China.” Di elaborated, “Chinese is a language of future, and learning Chinese well will bring me good luck.”

Sarif, a student of Mali, and his family in China (Photo by Xinhua)

In some African countries, Chinese is getting people out of poverty and helping them change their fates. Once trapped by unemployment, Sarif, a young man in Mali, came across a teacher from the local Confucius Classroom, and hence began his own journey of Chinese culture.

Obsessed with Chinese characters, poetry, and Kungfu at an early age, Sarif studied Chinese culture with extreme diligence. Finally, he overcame the obstacle of language and came to China. Now he is a PhD student at Kunming University of Science and Technology, and is always active in various kinds of Chinese language competition. He even acted in a Chinese movie this year.

“Confucius Classroom provides students with opportunities to better jobs and future and helps them to improve themselves despite their family or social backgrounds. In Mali, from waiters to officials, everybody is learning Chinese." said Sarif. Through learning Chinese, lots of people from his hometown got well-paid jobs in Chinese-funded enterprises and improved their lives.

In recent years, global “Chinese Craze” has brought the language into many countries’ national education systems. Various Chinese training schools have already prospered everywhere overseas. 516 Confucius Institutes and 1076 Confucius Classrooms in primary and secondary schools have already found their way to 142 countries and regions.

With the growing popularity of Chinese and more frequent communications between China and other countries in political, economical and cultural fields, learning Chinese can help students from many countries gain more confidence in planning the future.

There is growing enthusiasm for learning Chinese along the “Belt and Road” countries. Dastan, a 17-year-old young man from Kazakhstan, has learned Chinese for 4 years. His father works in the branch office of CNPC in Kazakhstan. He said, “My father witnesses the competence of Chinese enterprises, and wishes me a brighter future with Chinese.”

Learning Chinese in Southwest Forestry University, Puspita, an Indonesian girl, won’t let go such a great opportunity of self-development. While learning tourism management, she also dips her toes in tourism. She says, “With the help of Chinese, I want to get intensively involved in the development of tourism between China and Indonesia to help people from these two countries to experience different cultures and improve their mutual understandings.”

Overseas Chinese and students are also under the spell of Chinese Craze and embrace the advantageous period of job-hunting and business-founding. Liu Weishan, a young man from Beijing, is recently occupied with inviting friends majored in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language in Chinese universities to co-found a Chinese training school.

Liu Weishan explains, “Chinese Craze” provides overseas Chinese-speaking people with various self-development opportunities. You will never miss them.”

(Story by Xu Wanhu, Bai Shaobo, Jing Huihui, Wang Anhaowei, Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, October 20th)


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