PERTH, Australia, May 11 (Xinhua) -- On one sunny afternoon, inside a traditional assembly hall of the Confucius Institute at University of Western Australia, there was a group of Australian students speaking Mandarin authentically and fluently about the World Expo. The 9th "Chinese Bridge" final round in Australia was convened here recently.
Twelve finalists are from the Australian Capitol Territory, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. They gave presentations encompassed the topic entitled "Charming Chinese, Splendid Expo" as well as their own experiences.
Talks including story telling, speeches of poems, performing Tai Chi, singing popular Chinese songs, or even folk Northeastern Coupling Dance (Er Ren Zhuan). Spectators said the contestants were all fluent and can master the pronunciation, they looked relaxed and confident and performed vividly which made the competition more like an unique party.
Contestant from University of Western Australia named Thomas Williams was exceptionally active, he friendly referred himself as "Lao Wai" (colloquial term referring to foreigners). He introduced his living experiences while he was living in China sensually and elegantly. Williams hopes for more "Lao Wai" to visit Expo. Williams told Xinhua that learning Chinese is his interest and pleasure, he hopes to understand more about China and its culture through learning Chinese.
Patrick Williams from the Australian National University was born in Australia but his parents were Australian diplomats in China. He said in his speech that the open-up policy of China led to economical surges which allows the ascendancy of China. He then interpreted his understandings of the topic "Splendid Expo".
Contestant Andrew Chubb in the speaking component mimicked different Chinese dialects that kept spectators laughed. He is hoping to learn some authentic Shanghai-ese sentences in the venue of World Expo. When cultural performance component began, he dressed up traditionally and imitated sonorously and powerfully of a famous Chinese artist Shan Tianfang. He has won the first prize because of his cadency in Chinese story telling.
Peter Clouting from Charles Darwin University shared his experiences to rescue China's Wenchuan after the earthquakes with the spectators.
Director of the Confucius Institute at University of Western Australia David Ambrose told Xinhua that the point of having this competition is to promote students in Australia to learn Chinese. As the economical tides between China and Australia are strengthening, especially in Western Australia because there are more Chinese investments, Australian students learning Chinese will prepare them better into the society.
The Consulate-General of China at Perth Li Shugang told Xinhua that as the interactions are deepening between China and other countries, more and more foreigners learn Chinese. Sino-Australian relations remain developing that makes the cultural interactions more vibrant. Chinese Bridge competition is the link that allows both peoples to have more understandings.
"Chinese Bridge", Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students held by the Office of Chinese Language Council International, have been successful since 2002, became the platform for university students around the world to understand Chinese language and culture, with its sphere of influence growing. The top three winners will represent Australia to the final competition in China later of the year, with opportunities to visit the Shanghai World Expo.