#1 Good Friends Overseas – Reception & Reunion

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Dec 23, 2016 23:44
There’s a well-known TV show in China called “The Chinese Bridge.” Native English speakers may think this is a Chinese card game competition. In fact, this is a language proficiency competition, sponsored by the Confucius Institute, for non-native Chinese speaking university students around the world. The show has lasted 15 seasons (one season per year). The first few shows were simply speaking contests, but over the last few years, the show has expanded into various forms. It can be either a game show, a quiz show, or even a reality show. The form is changed every year, with the intention of attracting more viewers and thus raising the ratings.

The winner of the show this year is a male Canadian university student from Quebec. I watched the finale online. When I first saw him speak on the show, I presumed that he could win. He spoke in almost perfect tones, and very fluently. Moreover, he was good-looking. Remember that the show has become entertainment. Want to win the show? If you possess appealing attributes, flaunt them! For example, humor, amiability, intellectual, etc.. The reason I keep track of this show is that, five years ago, I was a volunteer crew member who led competitors through the whole process.

It was in 2011, when I was a university student. I signed up during the recruitment of volunteers for the show. After a couple rounds of interviews, I made it! I was so excited because I was going to be a guide for one of the four groups. On a summer morning in Beijing, I started sitting at a reception desk in a five-star hotel to await competitors from all around the world. Since I was employed as an English-speaking volunteer, when I looked through the name list, I paid extra attention to students from English speaking countries. I found most of them were from prestigious universities. They came from the UK, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland. Wow, it sounded like a huge reunion of English speaking people with a mysterious connection with each other, but were scattered to the four corners of the world.

It turned out that it was.

[Revised]
(1)海外存知己 - 接待与重聚

中国有一个知名的电视节目,叫《汉语桥》。英语国家的人会认为这也许是一个中国桥牌竞赛。其实,这是一个汉办(孔子学院)举办的中文比赛,参赛者是来自全世界的中文非母语的大学生。这个比赛已经举办了15届,每年一届。头几年只是一个演讲比赛,但近几年,形式就多样了,可以是游戏竞赛、知识问答甚至真人秀。节目形式多变,主要是为了与时俱进,吸引观众,提高收视率。

今年比赛的冠军是一位加拿大魁北克的大学男生。我在网上看了决赛。他一开口讲话,我就觉得他有冠军相。他的声调很标准,讲话也很流利。关键是他的颜值很高。要知道,这个节目已经成为了一个娱乐节目。要想赢得冠军,如果你有讨喜的个性,就要尽情展示,像幽默、知性、或者是亲和力等等。我追这个节目的原因是,我5年前是该节目的一个志愿者,引导选手们比赛。

2011年,还是一个大学生的时候,我参加了该节目组的志愿者招募。几轮面试下来,我成功走到了最后。我非常开心,因为选手们被分为四个组,我是其中一个组的向导。夏天的某天上午,我坐在北京一个五星级酒店的接待处,等待着来自全世界的选手们。由于我作为一个英文志愿者,浏览名单的时候,我额外关注来自英语国家的选手。我发现他们基本都是名牌大学学生,来自英国、美国、加拿大、澳大利亚、新西兰、南非和爱尔兰。哇塞!听起来好像他们是失散在世界各地多年的兄弟姐妹,通过某种联系团圆在一起。

结果,还真的是。