Building bridges: Participants and guests at the South African round of the 10th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students.
The South African round of the 10th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, an annual event for students taking Chinese at South African universities, was hosted by UCT at the Belmont Conference Centre, Rondebosch, on 8 May.
The competition, presented by the Hanban, the organisation that promotes the teaching of Chinese as a foreign language, offers an opportunity for students to demonstrate their proficiency in the language and share their experiences, and also sets out to promote friendship and understanding, explains Professor Wu Qianlong, deputy director of the Confucius Institute at UCT. Reflecting the growing numbers of South African universities offering Chinese studies, the number of contestants this year hit 27 - the highest yet.
Ten students from UCT (which only started to offer Chinese studies from this semester) took part. They went up against rivals from Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University and UNISA.
The participants all spoke in Chinese for three minutes, then demonstrated their understanding of Chinese culture through performances such as singing or dancing.
The top two students were selected for the semi-final and final rounds, which will be held in China in July. None of the UCT students qualified for that event, but two - Rachel Anderson and Gafsa Steenkamp - were presented with third prizes, which makes them eligible for scholarships to study Chinese at a university in China for one year.
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