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NZ students shine in Chinese Bridge language event

Updated: 2022-10-08 09:54 ( Xinhua )
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand — With lion dances, Chinese kung fu, Chinese crosstalk, songs and dances, and award-winning speeches, students from across New Zealand showcased their Chinese language proficiency in the annual "Chinese Bridge" event.

Fifteen secondary school students and two primary school students participated in the event, which was organized by the Confucius Institute in Auckland.

Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Wang Xiaolong said in his opening remarks that he hopes more New Zealand youth will join the China-New Zealand language and cultural exchange community and become ambassadors of friendship between the people of the two countries.

The event was a prelude to the New Zealand Chinese Language Week 2022 which opened in late September.

"We set up the New Zealand Chinese Language Week essentially as another way to try to bridge the cultural gap between New Zealand and China," says Jo Coughlan, chairperson of the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust.

Naisi Chen, a New Zealand member of parliament, reflected on her own experience of learning Chinese in her remarks.

"I came to New Zealand at age 5. I had very patient Chinese teachers and passed the Chinese language tests. The capability to speak Chinese grounded me well in my Chinese culture. I am looking forward to hearing from bilingual youth who will help New Zealand become more diverse and promote bilateral exchanges," says Chen.

Elijah Grieve from the Lincoln High School started learning Chinese when he was 11. It was his fifth time participating in the "Chinese Bridge". He said he hopes to visit China, "the Great Wall in Beijing, the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai and the Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan. I hope the friendship between China and New Zealand lasts forever."

Ryan Mansbridge-Croy from the Christchurch Boys' High School said that learning Chinese provides him more opportunities for future career development. "It is awesome that learning Chinese could allow me to make friends with 1.4 billion people," says Mansbridge-Croy.

Chinese Ambassador's Trophy winner Colden Sapir from ACG Parnell College said that learning Chinese has opened a new door for him.

"From learning Chinese, I started to understand the meaning of filial piety. It makes me feel closer to my parents. I worked very hard to learn Chinese and hope the friendship between New Zealand and China makes further progress," says Sapir.

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