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American boy wins top prize at Chinese songs contest in U.S. Midwest

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-07-02 09:56

Khaya Njumbe won the top prize in the child group of a singing contest of Chinese songs in the U.S. Midwest and received a trophy on Sunday in a Chinese culture center in the southwestern suburbs in Chicago.

This is part of the "Water Cube Cup" Chinese Songs Singing Competition scheduled in August in Beijing of China.

Holding the trophy almost one-third of his size, the 10-year-old boy beamed, and just could not wait to play with other contest participating boys and girls standing around.

During the competition, the 10-year-old boy sang two Chinese songs, "When You Are Old and Grey" and "The Moon Represents My Heart." The articulation, authentic pronunciation and emotional expression of the songs enabled him to win the prize.

Njumbe became fascinated with China and Chinese language at the age of three, but only started to learn Chinese at a Chinese culture center at the age of eight.

"I pushed him to learn Spanish at school, because it is a lot easier," Mrs. Njumbe told Xinhua. "He refused. Chinese is the only foreign language he wants to learn."

Mrs. Njumbe still remembered clearly the "Three Little Rabbits," a Chinese lullaby, her son sang to her when he was three years old. "He learned it from a TV song contest."

Njumbe just spent two weeks to practice his prize-winning Chinese songs. He is dreaming of going to China on summer programs once growing 12 years old. "I am not old enough to go now," he told Xinhua.

"I love Chinese Kongfu, I like Bruce Lee," Njumbe added.

Chinese songs are not the only area Njumbe is good at, he can also recite poems from China's Tang Dynasty (618-907). He can also easily recite Di Zi Gui - The Rules for Students - from ancient China.

Njumbe is just one of the 38 players aged from 5 to 82 from six states in the U.S. Midwest to participate in the Chinese songs contest.

Emily Mcclintick, a seven-year-old girl, sang "Pear Trees Bloom Again" and another song at the competition and came out the sixth place.

"It is hard to learn Chinese," she told Xinhua.

This is the third year for Xilin Association to host the Chinese songs contest in U.S. Midwest for selecting singers for the final of the "Water Cube Cup" Chinese Songs Singing Competition, Linda Yang, executive director of Xilin Association, told Xinhua.

The association is a non-profit organization in the greater Chicago area committed to providing an innovative educational system for children.

"After three years, the contest is enjoying growing popularity among people in U.S. Midwest. It has provided a platform for people overseas to sing Chinese songs, to have a better knowledge of Chinese culture and language," Yang said. She hoped that more people will take part in the contest next year.

The "Water Cube Cup" Chinese Songs Singing Competition is sponsored by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the Beijing municipal government and some other departments of the Beijing municipal government.

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