Newsletter: Young Peruvians’ Passion for Chinese

[Source] [Time]    2018-06-07 13:39:03 

The annual Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students and Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students have enjoyed broad popularity among Chinese language lovers. In the 2018 Peruvian round of the Chinese Bridge competition held on June 2nd, there were 14 finalists. These young Peruvians who love Chinese and culture have gone through a journey of their own.

Iriel Stephani Castro Mendoza, a middle school student, has been studying at the Confucius Institute of the Catholic University of Santa María in Arequipa, southern Peru, for more than two years. Her elder brother was her first Chinese teacher.

When Iriel was in primary school, her brother began to learn Chinese at the Confucius Institute, and had been to China many times. The stories about Chinese people and life told by her brother, as well as the small gifts from China made Iriel desperately yearn for that ancient oriental civilization. She found that the Chinese her elder brother spoke of are very pleasant to hear and then decided to master this beautiful language just as her brother had done.

Last July, Iriel attended a summer camp in China, where she not only improved her Chinese proficiency, but also experienced profound Chinese culture and appreciated the picturesque natural scenery. At present, Iriel’s biggest dream is to attend a Chinese university after graduating from high school.

Mi Yanran, a beautiful and clever law-major student of University of Piura in Peru, was proficient in English and French before learning Chinese. The studious girl got to know the Confucius Institute at University of Piura from the Internet. After the first trial class, she was eager to learn this brand-new language with distinctive charm and its culture. From then on, she became passionate about Chinese.

Unlike other foreign learners who are afraid of writing Chinese characters, Mi Yanran likes doing it most at ordinary times. She believes that the most attractive thing about Chinese language lies in its characters. Foreign students think that writing Chinese characters is complicated as they are not used to the writing system that is completely different from their own. She said that once one has a deep understanding of the writing rules of Chinese characters, he or she will find that writing Chinese characters is as interesting as creating an artwork.

Thanks to her passion for learning Chinese and outstanding scores, Mi Yanran applied for a one-year scholarship to study in China. Now, she often explains Chinese cultural knowledge to others as a volunteer, shares her experience and story of studying abroad in China, and encourages more people to study Chinese at Confucius Institutes.

Gao Yue, a handsome Peruvian young man, impresses everyone with his fluent and accurate Chinese, just as his teachers in China unanimously commended him, “Gao Yue speaks Chinese as fluently as a native.” In daily communication, he tends to use idioms to express his views. He believes that the way of conveying profound meaning with only a few words exactly reflects the subtlety of Chinese.

For preparing for the Chinese Bridge competition, Gao Yue learned the difficult Chinese classical paper-fan dance. He said that difficulties are like mountain peaks, and one should go all out to conquer them. Just as his Chinese name “Gao Yue” indicates that no matter how high mountains are, he will reach the peak.

Rodrigo Monzón, a 4th grader of Colegio Peruano Chino Diez de Octubre in Peru, who failed to take part in the competition twice due to young age, has finally stepped onto the stage this year; Yang Fan, a middle school student, learns Chinese with the purpose of root seeking because her maternal great grandfather was a Cantonese; Chinese music opens the way for the college student Angélica Cueva to the world of Chinese learning; and Gotuzzo Montoya Angelina Silvana, who started learning Chinese at the age of 6, is obsessed with Chinese dancing and her biggest dream is to go to China ...

Zhu Xiaoyan, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Peru, said that there are currently 4 Confucius Institutes and 4 overseas Chinese schools in Peru. In addition, 11 primary and secondary schools and colleges have independent Chinese teaching centers, and more than 20,000 Peruvian students are learning Chinese. More and more Peruvian young people want to attend the Chinese Bridge competition and learn Chinese language and culture with full enthusiasm. With a strong passion for Chinese, they will become messengers of China-Peruvian cultural exchanges in the future.

(Story by Zhang Gruoying, Xinhua News Agency, Lima, Peru, June 3th)

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