An International ECNU student compared himself to a "dumpling"


CAESAR is an international student from Kazakhstan who is currently pursuing his undergraduate studies at East China Normal University. His major is Chinese language international education.

Caesar with his award in hand.

In Chengdu, Sichuan, a Southwestern province in China, he won the first international student learning in China speech contest where he competed with 16 players from 16 countries, selected from 15 universities out of 11 provinces. He won the contest by an absolute majority.

Importantly, the date of the learning in China speech contest marks the 40th anniversary of reform and opening up of the People's Republic of China.  

Logical, rich with experience and sincerity, and jaw-dropping Mandarin skills, Caesar's speech was highly praised by the audience, some of whom even claimed that his Mandarin was more standard than their own.

Caesar at China speech contest venue.

The live applause at the end of his speech said it all; the judges said his speech was an almost perfect speech. Finally he won the first prize without any suspense, and won the championship representing for East China Normal University!

In his speech, Caesar compared himself to a dumpling. Why should he compare himself to a dumpling? Because, he said, when he first came to China that he was similar to a lump of dough. After a lot of kneading grinding, he gradually enriched his own understanding of connotation and knowledge, then gradually he had turned into the meat- stuffing dumpling. In the process, he noted. I learned to grow, and obtained the metamorphosis to became a true 'material' foreigner.  

Hosted by China's higher education institute and branch of education management of foreign students with Shanghai foreign students education research association, the contest was to undertake the 40th anniversary of reform and opening under the establishment of the first international students learning in China speech contest. It was part of a series of activities of the 2018 national higher education fair to commemorate the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up.

Group photos of Caesar and other contestants as well as teachers.

Caesar displayed his skills in spite of a strong competition base of international students throughout Shanghai, including 27 contestants. He still performed well and kept the lead until he entered the final with the outstanding result of ranking the first in the two rounds of selection.            

Five minutes of an improvised speech in Chinese would be very difficult for most international students, but Caesar's earnest effort as well as his deep understanding of Chinese culture were full of feelings that led to his success. As he mentioned in his speech, China is like a magic hat, unless you go to explore, otherwise you will never guess what's in the hat.

Translated by Siyuan Zhang    Proofread by Joshua Mayfield    Reviewed by Wenjun Guo


East China Normal University