The 21st Chinese Bridge Competition. We had a blast!

What a great day. Last Friday it finally happened. After weeks of intense preparation; The 21 edition of The Chinese Speaking Contest or 汉语桥比赛. 5 participants from among others Zuyd Hogeschool | Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and University of Groningen competed with each other in the field of Chinese language and culture.

The program kicked off with a speech by Bettine Vriesekoop. She talked about her experiences with China and the Chinese (sports)culture and how these experiences contributed to her development and also led to her later career as a news correspondent and writer.

We also welcomed Brády Jeronimus, last year’s winner. Brády shared his experience from last year and especially what has come his way after winning this contest.

In an intimate cinema setting in Lumière Maastricht, we were able to listen to speeches and anecdotes about what the theme 天下一家 meant to the participants. Personal stories about their experiences in China, but also current topics such as the war in Ukraine were discussed. Giving a speech in a room for a large audience is not easy, let alone a speech in a foreign language.

We are therefore extremely proud of all participants and the efforts and achievements they have put in. An experience richer but also a learning process to improve themselves, take their language to a higher level, and gain more confidence in their own abilities.

In addition to the inspiring speeches, we enjoyed the cultural performances of the students. A violin playing by Kiki Vos to the music of 好一朵茉莉花, a 旗袍舞 dance by Eszter Szabados, a traditional tea ceremony 茶艺 by Renée Paulussen and the poem by Oliver 面朝大海,春暖花开, as well as the calligraphy demonstration by Elisabeth van Nieuwamerongen, were all impressive and fantastic to watch.

However, there can only be one winner and we would like to once again congratulate Oliver Konradt on winning the 1st prize. We wish him every success in representing the Netherlands in the international competition in China.

In closing, we had the honor of meeting Mr. Luo Ping, Education Attaché of the Chinese Embassy, ​​for a closing speech and presentation of the prizes. Mr. Luo Ping talked about the importance of language & culture and was very impressed by all participants and their achievements and how important it is that an exchange of language & culture between China and the Netherlands continues to take place and that students hopefully in the future quickly to China for study and exchange.

The (汉语)桥 is a way of connecting. A connection between people and cultures through language and communication.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to this event; the CIM team for all their hard work and efforts, the jury, the sponsors, Lumière Maastricht for the beautiful location, Media Service Maastricht for the technical support and all the other people who made this great event possible. 


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