Feature: Foreign students showcase Chinese language proficiency in Myanmar
YANGON, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Students in Myanmar, along with their friends and family members, on Saturday gathered for the final rounds of a Chinese proficiency contest for foreign students to showcase their skills.
With the students participating with excitement and anticipation to test their skills, the 2023 "Chinese Bridge" language competition for foreign college and secondary school students in Myanmar was vibrant and colorful inside the main hall of the Myanmar Chinese Chamber of Commerce in downtown Yangon.
Shoon Woo, 17, was one of the 28 students who competed in the language proficiency contest, divided into two categories -- one for secondary students and the other for college contestants.
"It's my first time competing in such an event. I came to compete here as I love the Chinese language very much, and I wanted to show my talent (dances)," Shoon told Xinhua with a smile and a dancing gesture.
"It's like testing my skills," the secondary school girl said, adding that she started learning the Chinese language when she was five years old. "I went to both Chinese school and Myanmar school," she said, adding that she came from Kokang, a region bordering China.
"Learning Chinese is advantageous," Shoon explained, saying that she gained new knowledge and made more friends by studying the Chinese language.
Thwin Naing Soe, 14, another secondary school student who competed in the contest, said that he participated in the competition to showcase his Chinese language skills as well as his singing and dancing talents.
Thwin said he has been studying the Chinese language for nearly eight years. "I'm fond of Chinese dances and songs as I have watched Chinese films, particularly comedy ones, with my mom," he said.
The cheers and applause that he got from the audience were memorable, he added.
The Chinese language proficiency competition, jointly organized by the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, the Fuxing Confucius Classroom and three other Chinese language centers in Myanmar, featured speeches and talent shows such as singing, poetry recitation and dancing.
Due to his excellent performance, 19-year-old Min Khant Aung won the first prize in the final rounds of the 22nd edition of the Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students.
"It's memorable for my life. I'm very happy. I didn't expect to win the first prize. I just did my best throughout the competition," the student from the Myanmar International Education Center told Xinhua.
"Learning Chinese is good in many ways," he said. "It benefits both countries. Myanmar people will understand more about China. Chinese people will see the hard work of Myanmar people," he said.
In the 16th Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students, Thin Kyu Hlaing, an eighth-grader from the Eastern Language and Business Center, won the first prize.
"I'm extremely happy. It's unforgettable to perform dances in the competition," the secondary school girl said.
"I've been interested in the Chinese language since I was young. I like Chinese culture and history," she said.
"The event aims to promote Chinese language learning in Myanmar," Wu Weizhong, head of the Fuxing Confucius Classroom, said, adding that the race will help deepen China-Myanmar friendship.