Celebrating Success at 16th “Chinese Bridge” Prize-giving

“Chinese is so challenging yet undeniably fun to learn,” said one of the students. This was a common feeling shared throughout the 16th “Chinese Bridge” Speech Competition Prize-giving Ceremony hosted by the Confucius Institute in Auckland on 24 June. Approximately 65 guests, including Consul General Chen Shijie, CI in Auckland Advisory Board members Patrick English and Danny Chan, and sponsor, BNZ’s Head of Asia Business, Franky Wang, together with winners, their parents and teachers gathered at the University of Auckland to celebrate the achievements of students who had participated in this year’s competition.

The ceremony commenced with signature speeches from key speakers, each shedding light on the significance of language learning and cultural diversity. Consul General Chen Shijie addressed the audience, commending the enthusiastic participation of students from the Auckland region and emphasised the importance of learning the Chinese language in fostering cultural understanding and strengthening ties between New Zealand and China.

Patrick English, shared his personal journey of learning Chinese as a second language. He highlighted how this experience had contributed not only to his personal growth but also to his career development. “Studying other languages helps New Zealanders to go out and benefits the growth of this country economically and culturally. Chinese is one of those other critically important languages,” said Pat.

Franky Wang, expressed pride in sponsoring the annual event for the last few years and emphasised BNZ’s commitment to promoting second language learning and cultural diversity in schools across New Zealand.

First prize winner, Colden Sapir from ACG Parnell College, shared his winning speech and also expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the competition and highlighted the positive impact that learning Chinese has had on his academic journey and personal development. “I encourage all Chinese language learners to keep pursuing your dream in Chinese and be persistent. Your hard work will pay off, and you are living up to your youth,” said Sapir.

As the prize-giving ceremony was only a few days after the Dragon Boat Festival, the Institute incorporated elements of this much-celebrated and long-standing Chinese Festival to add a taste of culture and an air of festivity to the day. Attendees were treated to Chinese performances and zongzi, a traditional rice dumpling eaten at this time of the year, making it a double celebratory event enjoyed by all.

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