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Chinese-speaking contest links Chinese culture to world
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Students from around the world gathered in Chongqing last Tuesday to participate in a Chinese-speaking competition designed to enable the world to have a deep understanding of the charm of the Chinese culture and language.

Foreign students participating in the 4th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for foreign secondary school students are playing games. (photo:bridge.chinese.cn)

Foreign students participating in the 4th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for foreign secondary school students are playing games. (photo:bridge.chinese.cn)

The 4th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for foreign secondary school students, which will run from October 18 to October 30, is the largest of its kind in terms of scale and attendance.

The event was sponsored by the Chinese Language Promotion Office of China and Chongqing Municipal Government.

At the opening ceremony held at the Luneng Bashu Middle School in Chongqing, the 144 contestants from 43 countries staged a musical extravaganza for the audience.

Elegant European flamenco, African roaring drumbeats and South African passionate samba...., the students presented a rich exotic cultural show combining both oriental and Western elements by singing, dancing, etc.

The students competed in three games titled "Chinese Language Carnival," "Supermarket Reality show" and "Colorful Stage." At the final, the teenagers had the chance to experience the life in ordinary Chinese families for three days.

Under the considerate arrangements of local families, the youngsters took part in various cultural activities, such as visiting places of historical interest, making dumplings, watching Sichuan Opera, learning painting and practicing calligraphy, etc.. All this enabled them not only to feel the affection and love deeply, but also learn Chinese in a delightful environment.

A reporter covering the event followed two students into the Chinese families and recorded their stories.

Marisa from the U.S. lived in the family of a student surnamed Dulieyijia of the Bashu Middle School. To better treat the little guest from afar, Dulieyijia's parents made careful arrangements in advance.

At weekends, Marisa visited some famous scenic spots in Chongqing and attended a Chinese-style wedding ceremony held by a colleague of Dulieyijia's father. Very soon, 13-year-old Dulieyijia and 17-year-old Maria became good friends. From Dulieyijia, whom Marisa took as a teacher, she learned the technique of serving tea and making dumplings. Just in one day's time, Marisa learned to make dumplings quite professionally.

Another story is about Nicholas from Canada, who stayed in a "big family" and was received by Yang Zhou, a student in the Yubei Middle School.

Coincidently, the friends of Yang's mother also treated other foreign students attending the "Chinese Bridge" event. Therefore, the four families temporarily formed a "super family."

Chongqing "fathers and mothers" took their "sons and daughters" to watch Sichuan opera, listening to the storytelling over cups of tea.

These children from Laos, Austria, Sri Lanka, Canada orchestrated an evening party with their Chinese peers. Their self-directed show in both English and Chinese made every one laugh to tears.

The young contestants were quite excited about the event. If one word could be found to describe their feeling, then it would be "I love you, China."

They poured what they felt in Xinhua microblog, and let's hear what some of them have to say.

Zhou Jinzhu said the "Chinese bridge" has realized his long-cherished dream of coming to China, the country with a long history and time-honored tradition.

Zheng Weida wrote: "I love the Chinese language because I love Chinese songs and tongue twister. "What I expect most is to learn more Chinese idioms and to communicate with them."

A Yan said in microblog that he loves Chinese and that thinks Chinese would be the second most important language after English in the future.

"I hope everyone should study the Chinese language hard," Yan said, adding: "I hope I can have more opportunities to come to China in the future. I prefer the Shaolin Temple and Chinese Kungfu."

(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2011)

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