23rd “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Irish College Students Successfully Held


The Final of the 23rd "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Irish College Students was held at the UCD Confucius Institute on April 21, 2024. Hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Ireland (Education Section) and organized by the UCD Confucius Institute, the event attracted distinguished guests including Chinese Ambassador to Ireland H.E. HE Xiangdong, Vice President for Global Engagement at UCD Prof. Dolores O'Riordan, Head of Education Affairs of the Chinese Embassy to Ireland Ms. ZHU Xikun, Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at University College Cork Mr Huang Junyi, Chinese Director of Confucius Institute of Chinese and Regenerative Medicine at University of Galway, Mr Ren Li and many other audience members.

This year's competition featured 18 contestants from universities across Ireland. After the preliminary round in the morning, eight contestants advanced to the final round where they delivered speeches in Chinese on the theme of "One World, One Family" and answered questions from the judges. The contestants elaborated their understanding and vision of world peace and cultural exchange from various perspectives. Some quoted a famous Chinese saying, "Though oceans apart, kindred spirits stay close as neighbors"; some shared their personal experiences, narrating heartwarming stories of friendship and love that embody the spirit of "One World, One Family"; some discussed the importance of "One World, One Family" from the perspective of war and peace.

In the following talent show session, there was a dazzling array of performances including Chinese modern dance, traditional musical instrument performances, stand-up comedy, and renditions of Chinese songs, showcasing the contestants' understanding and love of Chinese culture.

While awaiting the results of the competition, the host engaged the audience in a fun quiz covering topics such as Chinese family, festivals, entertainment, and cities, deepening the audience's understanding of the Chinese language and traditional culture.

After a day of intense competition, Emilia Hamulewicz from UCD won the championship, with Darcey Brennan from UCD and Giana Nuncio from TUD awarded the second prize, and Rory Cheevers from UCD, Karyna Mizerkevych from NUI Galway, and Stephaine Mendes Pereira from UCD winning the third prize. Finn McGrath from TCD and Olufunke Grace Odunlami from UCD received the Most Promising Prize.

In her speech, Vice President Dolores O'Riordan congratulated the winners and emphasized the importance of Chinese language learning as a bridge not only between Chinese learners and Chinese people, but also between Ireland and China, and between the two different cultures.

During his speech, Ambassador H.E. HE Xiangdong expressed that he was deeply impressed by the performance of the contestants this year, which not only showcased their personal talents, but also demonstrated the fond friendship between the people of China and Ireland. He also conveyed his hope that the competition would play a better role to promote mutual understanding and communication between the two countries.