By Foday Moriba Conteh
The Confucius Institute Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone has on Friday 6th October, 2023 concluded its 5th Final of the Sierra Good Voice Chinese Song Competition. The competition which brought together 15 Contestants was held at Taiji Garden, Fourah Bay College Campus in Freetown.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Chinese Director at the Confucius Institute Fourah Bay College, Prof. Chen Xuebin, said that the Sierra Good Voice Chinese Song Competition is geared towards celebrating the beauty of language, culture and music, adding that the competition saw a beautiful amalgamation of cultures where Sierra Leoneans students choose songs that reflect different areas of China furthering that each song is a representation of the historical and cultural life of China and its demonstrate their love for both language and culture.
He stated that music as a universal language transcends various and bridge gaps and holds the power to connect people across borders and bring them closer together, stating that by contestants choosing to sing popular Chinese songs they are not only showcasing their linguistics powers but also amassing themselves in the diverse narratives in China’s past and present.
Prof. Chen Xuebin encouraged them to not only focus on the melody but go deep into the meaning of the songs by understanding the emotions and the stories and values imbedded within the songs and further embrace the essences of Chinese culture.
He reminded that regardless of the various positions they took in the competition their participation and enthusiasm in learning the Chinese culture is a win in itself.
On his part, the Charge d’ Affaires ad Interim at the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, Li Xiaoyong, commended the Confucius Institute, Fourah Bay College, for their laudable venture in not only teaching the Chinese Language but also introducing the Chinese Culture and promoting China Sierra Leone Friendship.
He said that he is pleased to see Sierra Leoneans students pushing to learn the Chinese Language, disclosing that the Chinese Language is the largest mother tongue used in the world and there are more than 25 million people out of China speaking Chinese.
Li Xiaoyong said that the best way to communicate feelings is through music and he is very impressed that Sierra Leoneans student are competing in singing Chinese songs.
He said that the competition is a good platform for civilization exchanges adding that it is the best way to learn from each other and promote more mutual understanding among nations.
The Head of Department at the Linguistics Department Fourah Bay College, Dr. Abdulai Walon-Jalloh, applauded the Confucius Institute Fourah Bay College for their efforts in empowering Sierra Leonean students in the country.
He said that over the years students who have studied Chinese are doing very well.
Dr. Abdulai Walon-Jalloh said that the department is very grateful for the efforts made by the Confucius Institute towards empowering students at the University, stating that due to their remarkable efforts more students are opting to come to the department specially to study Chinese.
He assured them that the University administration will continue to provide the enabling environment for the Confucius Institute to flourish.
On her part, the winner of the 5th Final of the Sierra Good Voice Chinese Song Competition ,Elizabeth Kamara ,expressed appreciation to the Confucius Institute for their support throughout the training for the competition.
She said that it was challenging at the start but through her perseverance, dedication and commitment she has emerged as the winner of the competition.