After a spectacular success of the Second Jiangsu Cup Chinese Speech Contest for College Students in 2012, CIE, Jiangsu International Cultural Exchange Center, Jiangsu Foreign Cultural Exchange Association, Nanjing University, Emory Language Center, and the Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures again collaborated to host the Third Jiangsu Cup Speech Contest for college students in 2013. The contest was held on October 29 in Harland Cinema on Emory campus. A five-member delegation led by Mr. Zhang Huanfa, Deputy Secretary General, Jiangsu International Cultural Exchange Center, and Professor Cheng Aimin, Dean of the Institute for International Students, Nanjing University, attended the event. Participating institutions included Agnos Scott College, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, More House College, and Spelman College. Thirty-four students applied to participate in the contest and among those, twenty-four were selected as finalists.
The contest was held at four levels, intermediate, Intermediate Advanced, Advanced, and Heritage speakers. Each contestant gave a short Chinese speech and was tested on their knowledge about the history and cultural traditions specific to Jiangsu province. Chinese teachers from local schools and Nanjing University were invited to be the judges. Winners won Gold, Silver, Bronze, and participation awards that will provide funding for travel to Jiangsu and study abroad at Nanjing University in different programs. The support ranged from full scholarships to study at Nanjing University towards a Master’s degree, semester studies and summer programs. Two winners will also be able to participate in a free 8-day study trip to Jiangsu province in summer, 2014. Twenty-one Emory students were among the winners of various awards.
Dr. Philip Wainwright, Vice Provost for International Affairs at Emory, gave an opening speech at the contest. He welcomed the guests from Jiangsu and thanked the participating institutions in joining Emory in this exciting event. He pointed out that foreign language skills are becoming increasingly important to succeed in a globalized world and offered his best wishes to all contestants. In their speeches, Mr. Zhang Huanfa from International Cultural Exchange Center, and Dean Cheng Aimin from Nanjing University introduced Jiangsu province and Nanjing University to the audience and encouraged students to visit and study in Jiangsu. In the contest that followed, students from all levels gave wonderful performances, telling their experience studying and traveling in China, their encounter with the Chinese culture, and their aspirations and career goals after acquiring Chinese skills. Emory Mulan Chinese Dance Group, Emory Chinese Music Ensemble, and talented singers and musicians from the Emory community performed dances, singing, and music pieces. The student-centered event turned out to be inspirational, fun, and enjoyable. More than 200 students, faculty and community members participated in the event. Reporters from local news media and World Journal, a major Chinese newspaper in North America, covered the event.