On Saturday, a video clip of Xiong Linghao, a 19-year-old blind girl playing Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata in an international youth piano competition in Shanghai, went viral online.
Xiong was born blind and started to play the piano at the age of 6. Unlike others who can read the music score she must remember the piece by heart, and, being unable to see the keyboard, she must remember, exactly, where each note is located on the piano.
Yet these difficulties did not stop her from pursuing her dreams. She attained a Level 10 piano certificate at the age of 12, and won one prize after another, including the Liszt Award in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 2017.
Xiong has a dream of going to university. Now studying in Grade 2, high school, she will sit the national college entrance examination, or gaokao, next year and we wish her success.
According to Beijing Tongren Hospital, the nation's top hospital on eye-related health, there are about 7 million blind people in China, accounting for 18 percent of the world's total. The number would be even bigger if all people who are visually impaired are included.
Among them there must be many, many more young people with talents like Xiong, education must be strengthened to let them pursue more colorful dreams. When the nation first introduced Braille papers for the gaokao in 2014, there was only one applicant. This year the number is only five. Most of the blind applicants for colleges can only participate in special exams, which are easier to pass but there is only a limited option of majors to choose from such as acupuncture and health recovery.
Actually, if well educated, many blind people could perform as well as sighted people in many careers. Ang Ziyu, one of the five blind applicants of ordinary gaokao this year, scored 635 points out of 750 and has been enrolled by China Minzu University; Cai Yongbin, an engineer who won Alibaba's top coding prize in 2018, is also blind.
With the progress of society, there will be more blind people who make notable achievements like the three persons above. Fulfilling their dreams will in turn help the whole country prosper.
(Source: China Daily)
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