Enthusiasts of Chinese culture excel in contest

Updated: 2021-10-18 07:35
( China Daily )

Leidy Exposito, a student from Havana's Confucius Institute, mounted the winners' podium in the recent 2021 Chinese Talent Contest in Latin America and the Caribbean as the event organizer earlier unveiled the list of victors.

The 22-year-old enthusiast of Chinese culture was awarded the second prize in Chinese calligraphy, one of the three categories in the competition, which also included Chinese dance and traditional Chinese painting.

The contest, which was held online via video link, offered an excellent platform for foreign students to better understand the charm of the Chinese language, culture and history, Exposito says.

"To be honest, I started studying the new language to communicate with my Chinese boyfriend, who did not speak too much Spanish," she says.

"But now I feel totally inspired to continue improving my skills as a Chinese-language learner."

Co-sponsored by the Chinese International Education Foundation Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and the ASA Panama Foundation, the contest aimed to spark the interest of youths in the Chinese language and culture, and promote friendship and communication between China and the region.

In total, 17 prizes were awarded by the jury during the contest, with four awarded to students from the Confucius Institute at the University of Havana.

One of them is Rosalia de la Caridad Grau, who won third place in the category of traditional Chinese dance after weeks of practice. The 19-year-old enrolled in the institute five years ago and is now studying telecommunications engineering at the Technological University of Havana Jose Antonio Echeverria.

"I always knew that learning Chinese could be difficult, but I like challenges," she says. "In addition, I want to be able to read most of the news and articles about technology, which are written in Chinese."

Meanwhile, the third prize winner in the category of Chinese traditional painting, Patricia Rivera, says China has deeply impressed the world with the achievements made by its people.

"I feel flattered and proud of being awarded in this contest. I feel committed to continue learning the different techniques used by Chinese painters," the 24-year-old says.

Over the past few years, learning the Chinese language and culture have become increasingly popular on the island, thanks to efforts made by social organizations and institutions, including Havana's Confucius Institute, from which thousands of students have graduated since its founding in 2009.

Yorbelis Rosell, director of the institute, says these awards are a testimony to the quality education of the center, as well as the great contribution made by Chinese and Cuban teachers there.

"This contest has been very beneficial for our students, who have been encouraged to keep updated on the Chinese language and culture despite the coronavirus pandemic," she says, adding that the institute will do more in next year's edition.