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Building bridges

The winner of a language competition is enhancing China-Belarus relations, writes Enoch Wong.

By Enoch Wong | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-03-15 08:31
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Kaligaeva visits Xiangshan (Fragrant Hills) Park with her classmates.[Photo provided to China Daily]

At the Confucius Institute, besides learning the language, Kaligaeva also developed deep connections with Chinese calligraphy, xiangsheng (the traditional performing art of cross-talk in Chinese comedy), as well as traditional outfits.

Kaligaeva says she has six elegant qipao (cheongsam) which she often wears at events. "To many in the West, the dress may be a piece of stylish and visually aesthetic clothing, but to me, it has great untold stories which are difficult to be fully translated without losing some historical, cultural and philosophical connotations."

This is one of the driving factors that kept her motivated and persistent throughout the early years of tedious exercises in learning the language. In addition to falling in love with Chinese culture, she also felt it was important to find ways to practice the language beyond the classroom. Hence, it was a no-brainer for Kaligaeva who decided to pursue her undergraduate studies in China.

"Killing two birds with one stone "and "dreams come true" are how Kaligaeva describes her decision to study in China. Not only did this accelerate her command of the language, but studying journalism and communication science at Tsinghua University also helped her to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a TV host. She says she is happy with the platform to tell her stories from the perspective of a Belarusian youth, introduce her country to the Chinese audience and express her viewpoint on different subjects.

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