The eagerly anticipated final of the 22nd Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students (India Chapter) was successfully held at the Trident Hotel in South Mumbai on June 23, 2023.
Kong Xianhua, the consul general of China in Mumbai, initiated proceedings with an opening speech. Weng Tiehui, China's vice minister of education, also graced the event. Various dignitaries, Chinese government officials, teachers, students studying Chinese, and Chinese culture enthusiasts were present, including Ma Jia, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in India, and Zha Liyou, consul general of China in Kolkata.
Photo shows scenes from the competition. (Photo/Chinese Embassy in India)
Among the 10 Indian finalists, Vishal Anand, a 19-year-old student from the Central University of Gujarat in Gandhinagar, emerged as the champion. He will represent India in the global competition held in China.
Three contest rounds were held under the theme "One World, One Family," including a talent show, a knowledge quiz, and a speech.
The participants, representing six different Indian institutions, showcased their language skills in front of a panel of Chinese language experts.
Contestants demonstrate their talent during the competition. (Photo/Chinese Embassy in India)
Kong Xianhua emphasized the importance of language proficiency to strengthen the Sino-Indian relationship and enhance understanding. He praised the University of Mumbai and Somaiya University's effective Chinese language programs, underlining the burgeoning interest in Chinese language learning across India.
Contestants showcase their talent during the competition. (Photo/Chinese Embassy in India)
Ma Jia expressed delight at the increasing number of students passionate about learning Chinese. She applauded the participants for their impressive performance and highlighted the Chinese Embassy's eagerness to issue more visas to Indian students, asserting that Chinese proficiency will provide them with excellent opportunities.
Chinese language learning has seen a surge in popularity among Indian students in recent years, resulting in many Indian universities establishing dedicated Chinese language departments. Additionally, an increasing number of Indian students have sought education at Chinese universities.
The Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition has emerged as a global platform for Chinese language learning and cultural exchange, attracting participation and immense popularity worldwide. It has successfully engaged over 1 million Chinese language learners from more than 120 countries, establishing itself as the premier event for showcasing linguistic skills and fostering cross-cultural connections.
Attendees at the event pose for a photo with the contestants. (Photo/Chinese Embassy in India)
Despite coinciding with the Dragon Boat Festival, a national holiday in China, the Chinese Embassy in India and consulate offices in Mumbai and Kolkata persisted in staging the event. Their efforts underscore China's dedication to developing linguistic and cultural ties that are mutually beneficial. This ambitious initiative by the Chinese government aims to boost linguistic relations, promising considerable advantages for students from both countries.
(Author is Mumbai, India-based editor-in-chief of Mumbai Messenger Newspaper)