Newsletter: Amid Pandemic, "Chinese Bridge" in Bosnia and Herzegovina Held Unimpededly Online

[Source]    xinhuanet.com [Time]    2020-05-21 16:05:33 
 

“May you have a brilliant future! May you lovers eventually become spouses! May you enjoy happiness in this earthly world! I only wish to face the sea, with spring blossoms”.

On May 17th, in the WeChat group called "2020 Chinese Bridge Competition Judges", a short video recorded by Mian Palikuca, a third-year student from the Department of Sinology of the University of East Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, deeply moved the judges.

In the two-minute video, Palikuca recited Hai Zi’s Facing the Sea With Spring Blossoms with accurate pronunciation and sincere emotions...

In the end, with the high scores in written test, speech, talent show and interview, Palikuca bore away the first prize in the 19th "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Competition for College Students in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the tryout was conducted online. Palikuca, 22, won the contest with his video.

"Palikuca is particularly fond of Chinese history and Chinese culture, so his Chinese poetry reciting has an extra sense," said Doroteja Klacar, who teaches Chinese at the University of East Sarajevo and serves as a judge at the competition.

Palikuca has a famous Chinese name—Sima Lin. He said that the name was given by a Chinese teacher. The teacher said, "Sima" is a very unique surname, and the word "Lin" symbolizes propitious omen. "There are so many historical figures with surname Sima like Sima Qian and Sima Guang, so this surname is too big for me. I dare not call myself Sima Lin." Palikuca put it half-jokingly.

Speaking of Chinese learning, Palikuca said that he has always loved language, but some of the languages he has learned in the past have not made him interested enough to pursue a degree. After getting exposed to the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the American writer Pearl S. Buck's novel The Good Earth, he developed a strong interest in learning Chinese and understanding China, and he chose the Department of Sinology of the University of East Sarajevo three years ago without hesitation .

"Chinese is a language of great literary wealth and it offers many opportunities for career advancement." Palikuca said.

From 2018 to 2019, Palikuca has studied at Shandong University of Technology for 10 months. Palikuca said that after his graduation next fall, he would continue his study in China.

The pandemic raged across Europe, and Palikuca thought that the "Chinese Bridge" competition would be cancelled. In March, when he learned that the "Chinese Bridge" competition would continue online, he was so glad that the pandemic failed to take away his original aspiration—to pay tribute to the poet Hai Zi via the competition.

Amid the pandemic, Wu Lianqun, a Chinese professor at the Department of Sinology of the University of East Sarajevo, marveled that the "Chinese Bridge" Competition for College Students in Bosnia and Herzegovina was held unimpededly online: "the opening of the competition fully illustrates students’ love for Chinese language".

Doroteja was also very pleased that the "Chinese Bridge" competition could be continued during the pandemic. "No matter how things change, our love for the "Chinese Bridge" will remain".

(Story by Zhang Xiuzhi, Xinhua News Agency, Sarajevo, May 17th)

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