Three students from Bowdoin’s Chinese Language Program competed in the 7th Chinese Bridge Speech Contest on April 22, hosted by the Confucius Institute at the University of Massachusetts and sponsored by the Confucius Institute Headquarters, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York, and Hainan Airlines. All three students returned with high honors.
Samuel Kyzivat ’18 won second place among advanced-level contestants, Daniel Castro Bonilla ’18 placed second at the intermediate level, and Lillian Saunders ’20 placed third at the advanced level. In addition to delivering a self-written speech, each student also presented cultural performance. Kyzivat played an erhu solo (a traditional Chinese string instrument), and Saunders and Bonilla read poems.
The speech competition is highly competitive. This year, the Asian Studies department recommended three students for participation, and after the first round of competition all advanced to the final round. Among the 23 finalists were students from Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Boston University, and Amherst College.
Six finalists were chosen as “Hainan Airlines Cultural Ambassadors,” including Kyzivat. These six “cultural ambassadors” will travel to China with all expenses paid for by Hainan Airlines and Confucius Institute Headquarters.
This is the second time that Bowdoin students have participated in the Chinese Bridge Speech Contest. Last year, two Bowdoin students entered the final competition and won second and third place respectively, with one chosen as a cultural ambassador.