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Chinese language contest in Latvia draws huge response

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

05-04-2017 07:28 BJT

RIGA - The 14th Chinese Bridge language proficiency competition in Latvia was held at the University of Latvia in late April.

A Latvian candidate displays a piece of paper-cutting work during the 14th Chinese Bridge language proficiency competition held at the University of Latvia last month in Riga. [Photo/Xinhua]

A Latvian candidate displays a piece of paper-cutting work during the 14th Chinese Bridge language proficiency competition held at the University of Latvia last month in Riga. [Photo/Xinhua]

Speaking about the contest, Janis Ikstens, vice-rector of the University of Latvia and a director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Latvia, said that the Chinese Bridge was a good platform for Chinese language learners in Latvia.

It has been playing a positive role in promoting Latvia-China culture exchanges and bilateral relation, said Ikstens.

Huang Yong, the Chinese ambassador to Latvia, focused on the theme "Dreams Enlighten the Future", noting that the Chinese Bridge competition had been held in Latvia for 14 years in a row, not only improving Latvian learners' proficiency in Chinese and letting them appreciate the charm of Chinese culture, but also helping them fulfill their dreams to study in China.

He thanked the Latvian government and the University of Latvia for their dedication to Chinese education and hoped that more Latvian citizens, especially young people, would deepen their understanding of Chinese culture through learning the language.

Professors Peteris Pildegovics and Shang Quanyu, the Latvian and Chinese directors, respectively, of the Confucius Institute at the University of Latvia, focused on three aspects of the contest.

The first was the number of contestants, 70, an all-time high and an indication of the popularity of the Chinese language and culture in Latvia.

The second was the ages of the contestants, which ranged from 7 to 70, an indication of the language's charm among the young and the old.

The third aspect was the high percentage of children and teenagers among the contestants, suggesting a growing popularity of Chinese among Latvian youngsters.

The 70 contestants who participated in the competition this year included 25 in the adult and university students' group, and 45 in the elementary and secondary school students' group.

The competition was in four parts: self-introduction, themed public speaking, Q & A on Chinese general knowledge and a talent show. Some of the winners will travel to China to represent Latvia at the Chinese Bridge finals.

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