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Cardiff student awarded ‘Most Creative’ at renowned Chinese Bridge competition

8 October 2020

Célia Bourhis, Chinese Bridge competition 2020

September saw Mandarin student Célia Bourhis awarded ‘Most Creative’ at the internationally-renowned Chinese Bridge contest.

Chinese Bridge is an annual Chinese language competition where students between 18 and 30 prove their proficiency in Mandarin and demonstrate their cultural knowledge of China. Organised by the Confucius Institute Headquarters, the competition provides a platform for cultural and educational exchanges worldwide.

This year’s UK regional final, normally held in London, was broadcast online for the first time in its 19-year history to over 1000 viewers via Zoom, Facebook and Youtube. Ten students representing British Universities took part, four of which will now go on to represent the UK in worldwide competitions.

Célia Bourhis, who represented Cardiff University at the competition, delivered an excellent performance and was awarded the prize for ‘Most Creative’. Mentored by Cardiff Confucius Institute tutors Qu Fan and Yu Tian, Célia spent an intensive two weeks preparing for a two-minute video about learning Chinese, a three-minute speech delivered in Mandarin, 160 questions related to Chinese culture, language rules and idioms, and an artistic performance. Qu Fan said:

“Célia is such a kind and hardworking girl who likes China very much. As she said herself: We are more alike than different, and learning Chinese can help her understand better about the whole world.”

Célia Bourhis, Chinese Bridge competition 2020

Inspired by a curiosity to learn about and understand a culture completely different from her own, Celia has been learning Chinese for four years. Having attended evening classes in Nantes while studying for her degree in France she then continued her language learning journey through Languages for All Mandarin classes while studying at Cardiff University.

Competing against other students majoring in Chinese did not unnerve Celia, who was able to confidently present a speech about her experience of using Chinese sign language whilst travelling in China, and perform a song called ‘Ming Tian Ni Hao’ 明天你好 (‘Hello Tomorrow’). She chose the song because “it’s about being courageous to fight the future”.

Thinking about her own future, Chinese will definitely still feature in Celia’s plans. She intends to use her skills to teach in China:

I’m currently studying my Master’s degree and learning how to teach French. I went to China for two months last summer, visiting friends and travelling around, and when I am able to go back, I will teach”.

We asked Célia to tell us about her experience - read interview.

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