On the 25th of April 2015, the UCD Confucius Institute hosted the Irish Regional Competition of the 14th ‘Chinese Bridge’ Chinese Proficiency Competition for Irish College Students in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin. More than twenty university student contestants from UCD, DIT, UCC and NUIM, participated in the competition. Also present at the competition were H.E.Mr. Xu Jianguo, the Chinese ambassador to Ireland; Prof. Andrew Deeks, the President of UCD; Mr. Wu Xiaochuang, First Secretary (education) in the Chinese Embassy of Ireland; Prof. Dorothy Kenny, Head of School in the School of Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies at DCU and finally, the Chinese directors of both Confucius Institutes in Ireland.
After the first round of the competition, which was held in the morning, 8 contestants entered the second and final round of the competition which decided the winners of the 1st Prize, two 2nd Prizes and three 3rd Prizes; two Commendation Prizes, one Best Cultural Performance Prize and one Culture Knowledge Quiz Prize. Students from the UCD Confucius Institute team took the top two prizes, successfully defending its champion title in Ireland. All top three prize winners will represent Irish college students and participate at the final Chinese Bridge competition in China.
The speeches and talent performances in the competition were focused on the theme “My Chinese Dream”. The contestants’ fluent and impressive Chinese speeches and talented performances based on Chinese culture illustrated clearly each individual’s vision of their beautiful Chinese dreams. The intoxicating Guzheng performance “Fishing Boats at Dusk” and Chinese traditional music “Moon Chasing Clouds” won much applause from the audience; other performances such as Chinese calligraphy, Chinese pop songs and stand-up comedy in Chinese also showed their love and deep understanding of Chinese culture.Prof. Andrew Deeks, the President of UCD, stated in his speech that UCD is very proud of its Confucius Institute and its students. He also encouraged the students to “keep up the good work” in learning Chinese. H.E. Mr. Xu Jianguo pointed out in his closing speech that “Language is a bridge connecting souls, one must learn Chinese to understand China.” As the Chinese economy continuously develops, the Chinese language will become more and more important, and learning Chinese will be a wise choice for Irish university students.