汉语桥 － 学会中国话，朋友遍天下
My name is Santiago, I attend high school in Argentina, and I am a Pamoja 2015-2016 November session student, part of the online IBDP Mandarin ab initio course.
In August 2015, I participated in the local round of the Chinese Bridge Competition, a Chinese-speaking competition for foreign high school students. I had already competed in the Chinese Bridge two years ago, and had actually travelled to China because of the competition to observe (since I wasn’t old enough to compete) the second round of the competition. This time, I was determined to get first place just like last time, and travel once again, but this time to participate in the international competition.
There were several reasons why I chose to sign up for this competition once again. First, after learning Chinese for four and a half years, the last half of which was through Pamoja, I wanted to measure my level of Chinese against the other competitors. Second, I wanted to put into practice everything that I had learned in those four and a half years. Third, I wanted to visit once again the culture whose language I am learning, and which I fell so deeply in love with two years ago. And so, I practiced and practiced, and managed to travel once again to China.
In this eighth edition of the competition, Chinese-learning high school students from all over the world gathered first in Beijing, where we visited some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world, and then in Kun Ming, where the actual competition took place. The competition consisted on various rounds: the first round involved an individual presentation, individual talent, and a conversation between the two competitors from the country, in my case Argentina; the second round involved the best 17 teams and the competition itself lasted a whole day; the third round took the best 10 teams to Da Li; and the last round involved the five best teams, one from each of the continents.
We lost in the first round. However, despite of not being able to qualify, I was still happy that I could travel to China and practice my Chinese in the best possible conditions. I met many people, each representing a unique culture, and maybe a unique language, but all gathered together because of our passion of learning Chinese. I also received a scholarship to study in China for one semester as a prize for competing abroad.
I want to thank the Pamoja teachers and Mandarin ab initio course. Pamoja has given me the chance to continue to study Chinese while I also study for my other IB subjects. The teachers have also continued to fuel my passion for the Chinese language and have provided me with further inspiration for my participation in this competition.
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