Tried and tested
Held every year since 2002 by the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) and Hunan Provincial Government, Chinese Bridge is a chance for young people from all over the world to compete while enjoying an extraordinary cultural experience for one month.
Arriving in China in early July, these young men and women went on to participate in successive elimination rounds. Throughout the competition, they chatted, laughed, sang and cried all in Chinese, effectively overcoming the language barrier. “I got to know a lot of people who came to this competition from all over the planet, and they became like my family,” said Elmoiez, who was born in Dubai but raised in Khartoum. “It doesn’t matter who wins or loses, because we will always remain friends.”
At the end, only five finalists were left standing, each representing one continent: Zhao Zhihang (Mohammed Elmoiez) from Sudan, Sha Mier (Bin Muhamad Shahmeer) from Malaysia, Liu Siyuan (Anne-aelis Myriam) from Australia, Mu Chenpeng (Daniel Patrick) from the United States and He Bende (Bernhard Haefner) from Germany.
On August 12, Elmoiez and the four other finalists faced off on stage in front of the cameras of Hunan Television. Facing a steady barrage of questions, they demonstrated their linguistic prowess and their love of Chinese language and culture one after the other.
Elmoiez set the bar high by breaking into a rap in fluent Chinese on the importance of “hugging,” showing his positive and tongue-in-cheek attitude toward life. His relaxed yet flawless performance won the hearts of both the judges and the public. “At first, I was intimidated by the other finalists. I never thought that the level of Chinese would be that good,” he told Chinafrica.
But it was truly Elmoiez’s extensive knowledge of Chinese culture that led him to victory in the third round against Sha Mier. Without a second of hesitation, he gave correct answers to a series of sharp questions