"Although we come from different countries and believe in different religions, Chinese language has made Moroccan students and Confucius Institute teachers a family," said Naoui Salima, a 21-year-old Moroccan university student, in her speech during a Chinese proficiency competition for foreign college students in the North African country.
The competition, known as the Moroccan regional contest of the 17th "Chinese Bridge" Competition, was held at Abdelmalek Essaadi University in the country's northwestern city of Tangier on Sunday.
Hosted by the Confucius Institute Headquarters in China, the competition consists of four parts: Chinese writing, keynote speech, quiz and talent performance, with 15 candidates recommended by the Confucius institutes in three major Moroccan universities contending for the championship title.
Zineb Ablali, a student from Hassan II University, explained her enthusiasm for Chinese language in her speech.
"When I was very young, my grandmother's legs were uncomfortable. The Chinese medical team used acupuncture to cure her illness. That's why I chose Chinese language as my major at university," she said.
Amina Taibi, a student of Mohammed V University, even cited Mozi, a famous philosopher of ancient China, to advocate "all-embracing love," which means love should be given to everyone with no difference.
"If everyone adopts 'all-embracing love,' our world will become an equal one," the 20-year-old female college student said in her keynote speech.
As the only male student of the 15 candidates, Mohamed Amine Zerrade from Mohammed V University won the praise of the judges for his clear and smooth speech in Chinese.
In addition to keynote speeches, the contestants also showed their good understanding of Chinese history, culture and national conditions in the quiz session.
Not only did they know about Classic Chinese novels, they could also tell the names of China's four largest banks and three major telecom operators, which surprised the audience.
In the talent show, the contestants presented their solid skills of Chinese calligraphy, painting, comic dialogue, zither, singing and dancing.
After intense competition, Salma Elhouari, a third-year student of the Chinese Department of Mohammed V University, came out on top with her solid Chinese language knowledge and superb Chinese painting skills.
She will travel to China to compete with contestants from other countries in this year's "Chinese Bridge" final.
In her speech before the competition, Chen Dongyun, Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy to Morocco, encouraged Moroccan students to learn Chinese language and culture through the "Chinese Bridge" program and become bridges connecting China and Morocco.
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