CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand, May 28 (Xinhua) -- University, secondary and primary school students from across New Zealand's South Island competed for Chinese proficiency in the annual "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition held on Sunday.
Hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, the themes of the South Island final for the university, secondary and primary school groups are "Fly High with Chinese," "One World, One Family" and "Chinese, Joy &Fun!" respectively.
Besides delivering speeches, the contestants showcased their Chinese talent through calligraphy, Tai Chi fan, Chinese dance, and singing Chinese songs.
"By studying Chinese, you not only gain insights into China's five-thousand-year history, but also gain an understanding of modern China," Chinese Consul General in Christchurch He Ying told the award ceremony.
In recent years, Chinese cartoon, talk show, and online entertainment such as app browsing, various games, live streaming and online novels have been increasingly welcomed by foreign audiences and readers, He said, adding learning Chinese opens a door for experiencing China's rich culture and enables cross-cultural communication.
"A Kiwi student who has a working knowledge of Mandarin and a better understanding of Chinese culture will surely have better employment prospects," she said, adding there will be more business opportunities between New Zealand and China.
From the South Island final, five top winners from the three categories of contestants will be nominated directly to proceed to the final competitions later this year in China representing New Zealand's South Island.