Australian teens learn Chinese to broaden horizon

Australian teens learn Chinese to broaden horizon

One contestant of the Australia final of the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese proficiency competition gives a speech in hanfu costume in Sydney on May 27. MA PING/XINHUA

For many teenagers in culturally diverse Australia, mastering a new language other than English opens up an avenue to bond with friends of a different background in the same community, explore alternative ways of life and view the world with a broader horizon.

The Australia Final of the 17th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students wrapped up in Sydney on May 27, with 12 young contestants from all across the Oceanic country.

After taking a written test on basic knowledge in the opening round, the Australian teenagers walked onto the stage, delivering speeches that echoed the theme of “Fly High with Chinese”.

In the final round, a spectrum of talent shows brought the competition to a climax, where the contenders dressed up in elaborate Chinese traditional clothing, such as hanfu, qipao and an entire set of Peking Opera costumes, to demonstrate their understanding of Chinese culture.

Among these skilled polyglots, some sang classical Chinese songs, like Tian Mi Mi (Cherie, originally by Teresa Teng), while others showcased their gifted musical instrument skills. They were not only adept at interpreting Chinese music with instruments such as the violin, flute and piccolo but also excelled in playing the cucurbit flute, known as a hulusi.

The final round also featured performances of both traditional Chinese dance and modern hip-hop, and some contestants displayed their calligraphy abilities.

Hallie Richards from Methodist Ladies” College eventually emerged as the winner of this year’s Australia final.

With the support of her mother, Richards has been studying Chinese since the age of five.

This year marks her second time competing in the Chinese proficiency competition.

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