Last Monday, 3rd of June, I attended the 6th Chinese Bridge Competition Preliminaries for Foreign Students Studying in China. Chinese Bridge is a competition for Chinese language learners and there are separate competitions for those studying abroad and those here in China.
From the preliminaries around China, 100 students were chosen to continue the competition in Beijing. In Guangzhou total of 31 students took part in the race and in the end only 3 were chosen to go to Beijing.
First part of the competition was self introduction of one minutes. After that two minutes talent show. I did taiji, but other students performed dancing, singing, Chinese story telling, xiangsheng, pingshu, playing Chinese instruments and so on.
Students from beginners to fluent attended the competition. Some of then had studied 15 years of Chinese, some only few months. Some didn’t understand the questions asked by three teachers, some had a perfect Chinese accent. Some had better Chinese skills than the Chinese themselves!
After the talent performance three teachers/judges asked different kind of questions from each student. Then they would each press a button for green light if they liked your performance. Three lights and you could continue to the second round that same afternoon.
I was lucky to be chosen to the second round too!
On round too there was 30 seconds to impress the judges. Because I don’t really have any skills I recited a Chinese poem. Unfortunately I hold the microphone too far and no one was really able to hear it!
In the end they chose three students to fly to Beijing. One 19-year-old Malaysian who had studied Chinese for 15 years and performed dancing (number 7). Guy number 4 who had a perfect Chinese accent (better than the Chinese!) who performed Chinese Crosstalk. And then a girl (behind the host) who played Chinese guzheng beautifully.
I didn’t make it to Beijing but it was an interesting experience nevertheless!