The 1st “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary Students Held in SUIBE-cosponsored CI Zagreb

In celebration of the Confucius Institute Day, the Croatian round of qualifiers of the Ninth “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for World Secondary School Students was held on 24 September at the Confucius Institute Zagreb, which is jointly run by SUIBE and the University of Zagreb.

The celebrations featured Chinese movies, helping the local people understand the traditional Chinese culture. Parents of high school students noted that these movies helped their children witness and experience the rich Chinese culture. They also observed that CI Zagreb not only teaches the Chinese language and culture, but also helps promote friendship between the countries.

The preliminary contest of the “Chinse Bridge” Competition for Croatian High School Students was held at the auditorium of CI Zagreb in the afternoon. Around 80 people from different circles, including the co-directors of CI Zagreb, were present at the contest. Mr. Meng Weiliang, the Chinese director of CI Zagreb, and Mr. Krešimir Jurak, the Croatian director, delivered welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony. Following a selection process, altogether 9 high school students participated in the contest. The competition fell into three parts: Mandarin language proficiency, Knowledge of China and Chinese culture, and Chinese cultural skills. The competition proved to be very fierce and of high standard, and all the contestants were well prepared and performed well. After a two-hour intense competition, Hana Ban came out on top, and Lovro Pendic won the second place. Both students will represent Croatia in the finals of the Ninth “Chinese Bridge” Competition slated to open in China this October.

This is the first time ever for such a contest to be held in Croatia for secondary school students, a sign of ever-growing craze for studying the Chinese language and culture among Croatian young people. This competition helps local middle school students to understand better the charm of the Chinese language and culture, to participate more actively in language and culture events hosted by CI Zagreb, and to enhance further the friendly relationship between people in the two countries.