A contester takes part in the preliminary contest of the "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition at the University of South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, May 12, 2018. (Xinhua/Zhang Yongxing)
by Zhang Yongxing
SUVA, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Cheers and applause erupted from a packed hall of the University of South Pacific (USP) building in Fiji's capital city of Suva on Saturday evening, as a Chinese language contest with the participation of university students of the South Pacific island states concluded.
"This is an amazing, unbelievable and unforgettable Chinese language competition. All the student participants should be praised for their wonderful performance," a group of audience told Xinhua while the judges also nodded in agreement.
The 17th edition of the "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students Fiji Regional Final, seeing 11 participants, is more like a vivid and engaging cultural journey for the audience.
The judges and audience are also impressed by the participants' well-prepared, fluent and emotional Chinese speeches and wonderful performances in knowledge quiz and talent show.
The students shared their experiences about learning Chinese language and culture , and performed Chinese folk songs and dances, showing their language gift and knowledge of Chinese scriptures.
Ilaisa George Senimoli, 27 and Sofia Adituraga Mucunabitu, 21, both from the USP, were awarded the first prize and the second prize respectively, and they will participate in the final competition in Changsha, capital city of China's Hunan province in July this year.
They told Xinhua that they love China, Chinese language and culture, looking forward to the forthcoming trip to China and seeing the changing China in person.
The theme of this year's competition is "One World, One Family", showing the Chinese people's traditional culture of pursuing friendship, peace and harmony.
Yang Hui, Chinese director of the Confucius Institute (CI) at the USP, spoke highly of the competition.
"This competition is not only for competing on Chinese language and cultural knowledge like its name, but also a bridge to connect two nations and peoples. Through years of development, CI here has become a bridge for USP and other universities in China, facilitating the academic communications and cooperation in different levels," she said.
For his part, Derrick Armstrong, deputy president of USP, said the competition enjoyed a great success and "The CI at the USP is now playing an important role in forging good relationship and friendship between the Pacific Island countries and the Chinese people."
As the judge and wife of the Chinese Ambassador to Fiji, Lu Qi said "language is the bridge for human communication, and language and cultural exchange enable us to establish profound friendship".
"I believe that with the further development of relationship between China and Fiji, with the increasing exchange between Fiji and the other countries, more and more bilingual and multilingual talents are needed. I hope that all the students here could work hard to learn Chinese and Chinese culture, to light up your own future, and to make contributions to the friendship between China and Fiji in the spirit of 'One World, One Family'," she said.