University of Otago Chinese language students (from left) Bridget Kirk, of Queenstown, and Megan Robinson, of Invercargill, have won a trip to China after submitting a video about China on social media.
Singing and dancing is typically what people do to win reality TV talent shows.But University of Otago language students Megan Robinson (23) and Bridget Kirk (22) have unorthodoxly, and successfully, used their singing and dancing skills to win a trip to Guangzhou, China.
The duo said they discovered the New Zealand Chinese Language Week competition by chance on social media, and decided to “give it a go”.
“Megan and I have done three years of Chinese at the university together, so we created a video about why we deserved it and why we wanted to go,” Miss Kirk said.
“The three years of study wasn’t easy, and we’ve got to the point now where we’re conversational speakers and we really want to go to China together before we go out into the real world.”
Both want to continue studying Chinese in the hope of using it in business or diplomatic careers.
Miss Robinson said it felt “very surreal” to have won the competition.
“We didn’t expect to win it at all. It really took us by surprise.”
The all-expenses-paid trip will take place in December and includes return flights, four nights of accommodation in Guangzhou, meals and five days of sightseeing.
It also includes a visit to the Chimelong Safari Park – home to the world’s only giant panda triplets – Nanyue Palace and a Pearl River night cruise.
Both said they were excited to visit Southern China’s gateway city which is steeped in history, culture and “glorious food”.
New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust co-chairwoman Jo Coughlan said entries were judged on use of language, interest in Chinese culture and thirst for knowledge, enthusiasm and sense of humour.
The duo are among five young Kiwis to win all-expenses-paid trips to China.
By John Lewis