On June 17, the All-Russian stage of the XXI “Chinese is a Bridge” World Student Competition was conducted. It was organized by the Department of Education at the Chinese Embassy in the Russian Federation. The 14 best students representing their universities included Yegor Betekhtin and Anastasia Makarkina, third-year students at the NSU Institute for the Humanities. Betekhtin was one of two winners and will represent Russia at the world finals. Makarkina took second place giving NSU the silver medal in the team category. Du Yingying and Zhao Pan, Chinese teachers at the NSU Confucius Institute Center, helped the students prepare for the competition.
Betekhtin described his experience,
汉语桥” came into my life unexpectedly, I did not plan to participate because I wasn’t sure I could prepare properly and perform well. This is the first time I have participated in such a large-scale competition! I was very worried so it was helpful that a good teacher, Du Yingying, prepared me. She was always supportive and stayed in touch. Even during breaks in the competition, she sent me positive messages.
Betekhin studies Chinese as a second foreign language as part of his specialty, but he first became acquainted with the language at school. He is also a good singer and is engaged in calligraphy and acting. He has already won various levels of language competitions and Olympiads and participated in international cultural projects at the Center for International Cooperation and Exchanges in Language Education supported by the Ministry of Education of the PRC. In addition to winning the overall competition, he won for oratorical talent and was awarded a ticket to the tropical island of Hainan from the Hainan Province Department of Tourism, Culture, Radio, Television, and Sports who sponsored the competition.
I saw so many talented people during the All-Russian stage. Words cannot describe how great the people from the other regions performed. It is an honor for me to speak on a par with these students because they have a lot of knowledge and experience behind them. There was a moment when I was upset because I had a topic I did not expect but I ended up being very happy because the time I invested in preparation paid off. If anyone asked me whether they should participate in the ”Bridge” competition, I will, of course, say “Definitely!”.
Anastasia decided in the 10-11th grade that she would study the Chinese language and Chinese culture at the University. She took her first steps learning the language with a course a few months before the start of immersion in oriental studies. She decided to try her hand at competitions only this academic year and successfully took part in the international essay competition “Sport is Also Diplomacy”, the city's Chinese calligraphy competition, and the children's fiction translation competition.
Makarkin talked about the event,
The competition gave me the opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture, history, and art, as well as to improve my language level. For me, the most difficult part of preparing for the Competition was to organize my time so I was able to prepare for exams at the same time. Of course, the Competition was exciting and participating in it was a great experience. I am glad I had the opportunity to take part in such a large-scale and interesting competition. All this would not have been possible without the help of my teacher Zhao Pan, I am very grateful to him for helping me prepare!