UG students to represent Ghana at “Chinese Bridge” competition finals

The winners in a group photograph
The winners in a group photograph

Two students of the University of Ghana, Duncan Acorlor and Jacqueline Sekyi will participate in the 17th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese proficiency competition finals to be held in China next month.

This was after they had brushed off stiff competition from 18 other contestants in the preliminary competition at the University of Ghana, Legon last Friday.

The annual language proficiency and cultural contest is an international event opened to non-Chinese college students to arouse their enthusiasm in learning Chinese and to strengthen the world's understanding of the Chinese language and culture.

This year's competition which marks the 5th held by the Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana featured students from five different tertiary institutions namely, University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, the University of Cape Coast, Kumasi Technical University and Wisconsin University College.

Focusing on the Topic "One World, One Family", the contest comprised four segments: self-introduction, topic speeches, a cultural quiz and talent show.

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In addition, contestants had to demonstrate an understanding of the Chinese language and cultural skills through performances of Chinese classic dances to Chinese martial arts like Kongfu, Taichi and art forms like calligraphy, music and paper-cutting.

A Ghanaian cultural presentation was also a requirement for contestants to score maximum points.

A Ghanaian cultural performance

Dr Meilian Mei, Director of the Confucius Institute expressed appreciation of the strong cultural and educational collaboration and exchanges between China and Ghana and stressed that the Confucius Institute would continue to play a key role in promoting youth exchanges between the two countries.

She was optimistic that the increasing number of Ghanaian students learning Chinese language will further consolidate gains made in other areas such as bilateral and trade cooperation.

She said the competition is a great opportunity to showcase the knowledge of Ghanaian and Chinese culture which she said promotes mutual understanding and friendship.

She congratulated the two winners and encouraged more students to participate in such opportunities, adding that the experience of the winners in China will add immense value to their academic and professional pursuits.

“Such experiences will broaden students’ knowledge and understanding about Chinese culture and lifestyle,” she observed.

Duncan Acorlor, the overall winner believes that advancing to the global stage of the competition is an elevation in his quest to fully understand and immerse himself in the Chinese language and culture.

The judges and the guests at the event

He said although he was very nervous due to the number of competitors vying for the top prize, he was confident of winning the competition because he was sure of his Chinese language skills which he said would aid his ambition of securing the first prize on the global stage.

Acorlor said he was very proud to represent Ghana in China and appealed to Ghanaians to support him as he competes with nationals of other countries.

Jacqueline Sekyi, the first prize winner, said Chinese being one of her major courses at the university played a key role in her success as the winner of the second prize.

According to her, she has made remarkable progress in learning Chinese and its cultural dimensions and was excited about her prospects as a bilingual.