HANOI, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Studying Chinese, one of the world's most spoken languages, has not only brightened the career paths for Vietnamese students, but also enriched their lives culturally with impassioned values.
"Learning Chinese is so much fun because I can come to understand many good songs and rhythms," said Ha Kieu My, a third-year student at the Hanoi-based Foreign Trade University, who was a finalist at the 2nd Chinese singing contest held by the Confucius Institute in Vietnam on Wednesday night.
At the music competition, held under the framework of the Chinese Culture Week in Vietnam and Confucius Institute Day 2017, some 11 finalists from six universities in Hanoi performed Chinese songs of all genres, from classic to modern, before hundreds of excited fans in the audience.
Sitting in the crowded theater of Hanoi University, a fourth-year student of Chinese, Bui Thanh Huyen, said she has been fond of Chinese music since she was a little girl.
"The gentle, rhythmic pronunciation of the Chinese language makes songs sound more melodious. When you listen to it, you feel like a beautiful world is opening up for you," Huyen told Xinhua, with dreamy eyes.
According to Huyen, Vietnamese students like her manage to find many hobbies related to their linguistic major.
"Thanks to our language studies we can enjoy Chinese films, reality shows, Chinese novels and so on. We are so lucky that we can also be entertained by what we study, unlike students of other foreign languages who are struggling just to remember words," Huyen smiled, her eyes beaming.
As a senior student, Huyen does not seem to worry about her future since her major in Chinese provides her with lots of opportunities.
We have many choices after graduation. We can apply for higher education with Master's programs taught in Chinese, she explained.
"Or, if we think really optimistically, we can go to work, as many large multinational companies are Chinese and the Chinese language is widely-used around the world," she said excitedly, thinking about her rosy future.
However, the young girl said that she wished that more China-related activities could be held at her school, the Foreign Trade University, instead of just at other universities.
"We do not have so many Chinese students and lecturers in our schools, and contests are not held on our campus. I think I am a little bit jealous of other universities like today's host Hanoi University," Huyen smiled.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, Peng Shituan, also one of the competition's judges, said that culture, in particular music and this contest, is a bridge of friendship that promotes understandings between the two country's peoples and brings them closer.
He said he hoped that more and more activities like this would be held in the future to intensify cultural exchanges.
Echoing Tuan's view, Nguyen Vinh Quang, vice chairman of the Vietnam-China Friendship Association, could not hide his happiness at seeing young Vietnamese students enjoying discovering Chinese cultural values, saying that it would further cement the long-term friendship of both countries.
Quang himself went on to perform a flute repertoire, which both surprised and captivated the enthusiastic audience.
At the end of the three-hour contest, with an incredible performance of the song "Hua xin", student Ha Vi Hoa from Phuong Dong University, Hanoi, came away with the first prize.
Nguyen Thi Cuc Phuong, vice principal of Hanoi University happily thanked all participants for their enthusiasm in joining the contest.
Aside from the singing competition, the Institute had successfully organized a series of other events a week earlier for students, lecturers and scholars, which were very well-received.
These included a Chinese Character Dictation Competition, "Sinophile" Chinese Culture Trivia Competition, and helping students to practice for the Chinese language test.