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Confucius nurtures Russian students in Chinese learning(2)

2013-03-19 10:31 Xinhua     Web Editor: Mo Hong'e comment

Alexander Sboyev, 22, winner of last year's contest, is one of the gifted young men fascinated by Chinese language and culture.

The fourth grade student from Far East Federal University impressed the audience with his fluent tongue twister and Chinese crosstalk performance. By imitating cartoon figures from the popular Chinese series Happy Sheep and Gray Wolf, he won the hearts and minds of all the judges.

The champion, who has visited China many times, told Xinhua he might take a scholarship to China's northeastern Heilongjiang University for further study.

"I may choose to be an interpreter after graduation to contribute to cultural exchanges between China and Russia," he said.

Paulina Karimov, a curly-haired Russian girl who speaks decent Mandarin, also holds a large "database" of Chinese quips and cranks, apothegms and aphorisms.

She once performed in the Chinese Spring Festival Gala with Dashan, a well-known Canadian proficient in Chinese. She has been to China several times and was touched by the Chinese culture "the first time she arrived there," she told Xinhua after attending the Chinese Bridge contest.

Some say the mushrooming Confucius Institutes are a push by China to build up its global allure. For more Russian young people, the school opened a door to an entire new world.

Kabirova Alina, a brilliant Russian girl in her 20s, started learning Chinese in college. She gained two Confucius Scholarships from Russian and Chinese schools and is now studying at Sichuan University in central China, majoring in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

Having accompanied several Chinese delegations as a volunteer and interpreter at major international events held recently in Russia, Alina made lots of Chinese friends.

She was even given a nickname by her Chinese colleagues: the blond girl from China. "That's true. I now live in China, and I may relocate myself to China after graduation if there are good opportunities," she grinned cheerfully.

Another choice, she said, could be to return home and teach Russian kids Chinese, which would also be a meaningful and interesting job, Alina added.

In the time of Confucius, there were few teaching materials available. Yet with his only textbook, Analects, Confucius nurtured 72 saints and was followed by 3000 disciples.

Now, with abundant materials and competent teachers from both Chinese and Russian sides, Confucius is sure to receive hundreds of thousands of more Russian students in the future.

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