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US student awed by China's nature, culture

By Linda Deng | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-15 10:01

Ingrained in culture

Fowler said he is impressed that cultural references and philosophical ideas are deep-rooted in everyday conversations in China. Having grown up near Chinatown in Oakland, California, Fowler's interest in Mandarin was sparked in high school by a passionate teacher eager to impart some concepts from Chinese philosophy. His time in China only solidified his appreciation for the country's respect for its cultural heritage and artistic traditions.

"One thing that really moved me in China is that when you're talking to people on the street or just talking to friends, there seems to be a common foundation of quotes from well-known works. The majority of people will know quotes from Chinese philosophers and poets," he said.

Fowler finished third in the global final, and has encouraged others to take the opportunity to participate in the "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition.

"You will be able to actually understand China much better when you go there," he said.

"Also, you will meet friends both from China and from around the world. The point is to build bridges between cultures, and it's not just a bridge between your culture and Chinese culture — it's also a bridge between your culture and the cultures of all the other competitors."

A group photo of all the contestants participating in the "Chinese Bridge" competition for foreign secondary school students is taken at the ceremony held in Kunming last month. LIU RANYANG/CHINA NEWS SERVICE
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