10th Chinese Bridge Competition: Highlights on the South African Preliminary

The first round of the 10th “Chinese Bridge”- Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students was held on the 8th May 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. 

The competition entitled “Bridge of friendship, Resonance of passion” was organized by the educational section of the Chinese Embassy in association with the University of Cape Town (UCT). The event was also attended by the Chinese Consul General Mr. Guangfeng Hao, the First Secretary of the Educational Section at the Chinese Embassy Mr.Yanggen Wei, the Director of International Relations of the South African Ministry of Education, Mr. Jeppie and the Vice-Rector at UCT, Prof. Nolabo. Twenty seven candidates from UCT, Stellenbosch University, Rhodes University and The University of South Africa (UNISA), including 150 teachers and students gathered at the foot of Table Mountain in the autumn chill to enjoy the Chinese competitive gala. 

At the opening function, UCT Vice-Rector, Prof. Nolabo, delivered a heartfelt speech and highly praised the establishment of Confucius Institutes and the cooperation between China and South Africa. Prof. Nolabo emphasized that operating Confucius Institutes successfully will provide South Africans with a different perspective of China; essential in understanding the relationship between our two countries and proving that our cooperation is a win-win situation. Praise of the competition at UCT was also shared and extended by the Consul General, Mr.Guangfeng Hao. 

The competition was divided into 3 sections: “Chinese language speech”; “knowledge Q&A” and “Talent performance”. The 27 candidates focused their presentations on the title of the competition, “Bridge of friendship, Resonance of passion”. Students delivered eloquent speeches and amazed the audience with exciting performances including calligraphy, poetry recitals, dance acts, tai chi, tai chi sword acts, and chess. Following very stiff competition, a student from the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University, Bo Wen Xie (Bjorn Leif Brauteseth) moved the audience and the judges with his story about his visit to Beijing and secured the first prize.

Bo Wen Xie told the story of how he tried to communicate in Chinese and interact with an old man in Beijing and subsequently helped him to understand South Africa and Africa. With his beautiful voice, he sang "Pearl of the Orient", and impressed the audience and the judges alike. A student from Rhodes University, Daniel Charvat, made a Chinese painting depicting a strolling crane. As he gently stroked the paint brush across the paper, he explained to the audience the significance of the crane which symbolises longevity. Natalie Jordaan, student at the University of South Africa, delivered a speech abundant in Chinese idiom and also performed a Dai style of dance which captivated the South African audience. 

Daniel and Natalie’s performances were both well received and they were awarded second and third place, respectively. 

A lingering, vibrant atmosphere after the competition attested to a programme well-arranged with lively content and events inviting enough to promote the love and understanding of Chinese culture by the South African youth.

Photos provided by the Chinese Consulate Cape Town, South Africa.
Article written by the Confucius Institute at Stellenbosch University.