“The Voices of Our Community”

Let’s Celebrate Our Achievements And The New Year Together!

The holidays are among us and Chinese Lunar New Year is right around the corner too. The Chinese Language Program is hoping to bring people together for the festive seasons—to hear each other’s voices and feel a sense of community. As an encouraging learning community, we’ve accomplished so much this semester. So, what better way to send off 2020 and welcome 2021 with open arms than to come together as a community and sing in harmonious joy?

The Cheerleaders, CHIN 141 001, “干杯” Cheers 

And The Winners Are…

First and foremost, we would like to congratulate everyone for their hard work. The winners of this year’s “The Voices of Our Community” contest are the following teams:

1st Place: 茄子/ Team Song For Our Classmate, CHIN 241 001

2nd Place: 合唱队/ UBC CHIN 331 Singing Team, CHIN 331 001

3rd Place: 群魔乱舞, CHIN 441 001

Best Costume: 高兴/Team Gaoxing, CHIN 133 009

Best Editing: Team Yellow, CHIN 337 001 and CHIN 405 001

Best Team Spirits:

高兴队/Team Happy, CHIN 131 002/004

我们还好队/ Team Chou Fangs, CHIN 241 002

七个美女两个帅哥/7 Beautiful Girls and 2 Handsome Boys, CHIN 345 001

七个美女两个帅哥 7 Beautiful Girls and 2 Handsome Boys, “青春修煉手冊” Practice Book for Youth

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! Community beyond the classroom

The Chinese Language Program created “The Voices of Our Community”: 2020 Chinese Language Program Singing Contest to give everyone an opportunity to connect through song. Each Chinese language course was able to participate in this joyous occasion. Chinese language students from all different courses and backgrounds all came together and warmly sang matching the lively holiday season.

The UBC CHIN 331 001 Singing Team 合唱隊, CHIN 331 001, “告白氣球” Confession Balloon 

“I think [this singing contest] shows that there are students who are looking for a way to connect and have fun. It is moving how students develop creative ways to get around the limitations of technology and succeed in singing together.”

CHIN 131 005, “恭喜恭喜” Greetings Greetings

“It is such a unique experience meeting up with my students outside class in practices for a singing contest… They are all willing to step out of their comfort zone and they have the courage to perform singing in a foreign language that they have learnt for just three months. This is such an aspiration for me.”

While everyone sang together, students surprisingly learned more about the Chinese language and culture, too! And it wouldn’t have been possible without working with each other. Through each class’s collaborative work, everyone was able to uplift one another, encouraging their classmates to step outside of their comfort zones to sing a song outside their mother tongue.

“At the start of the semester, I didn’t know anybody in my class and didn’t even have the confidence to speak Chinese, but as the term came to close, I felt confident enough to sing it with my group mates without feeling like an outsider.”

But neither the Chinese classes, nor the singing contest, are about simply learning the language. The main takeaway was how everyone felt, not how many vocabulary words they learned. The classes and the contest formed a warm sense of community. Students said that the experience of community was “wonderful”, especially during a semester of online learning.

Team 茄子 A Song for Our Classmate, CHIN 241 001, “因为爱在心中” Love On The Mind

“The collaboration with my Chinese class friends allowed me to connect with them more, and I’ve become friends with some of them outside of class! […] Everyone’s support for this project made me feel like I WAS A PART OF THIS BIG COMMUNITY that had a meaningful goal. The nice atmosphere we created on Zoom made the environment really warm.”

“Chinese is not only a class. We empathize with each other’s struggles, feel pride in each other’s victories, and pull back those who feel left out. This is not a course, this is a TEAM.”

Come Sing Along With Us! Reaching beyond the program

The joy of the singing contest was not only limited to the Chinese Language Program! It spread through the judges, who came from all different programs in Asian Studies. Among the diverse panel of volunteer judges were Rebecca Chau, Director of Japanese Language Program, Raymond Pai, Director of Cantonese Language Program, Kaori Tanaka, Japanese Lecturer, Zoe Lam, Cantonese Lecturer, Thomas Gao, a student representative, and Xinxin Wu, Xueshun Liu as well as Zhaokun Xin from the Chinese Language Program! Thank you, judges!

Every judge commended the students for their hard work and empathized with what they had to overcome in order to submit their songs. These hurdles even involved everything from time differences to the difficulties of gathering online.

群魔亂舞, CHIN 441 001, “七里香” Orange Jasmine

“I am blown away by how all the students can manage the challenge of putting a song together with singers in different locations and time zones on top of their own studies online… Thanks to all your effort to inspire us with showing the impact and potential of culture and language altogether. Every single team deserves an award.”

Student representative Thomas Gao also empathized with this as he, too, knew what the students went through and applauded everyone for their hard work. However, it was through their empathy that the judges were able to feel the warmth of their community! It was only because of students’ teamwork that this singing contest was possible. They all noted how heart-warming it was to see everyone working together to celebrate the holidays. Lecturer Zoe Lam said that she saw something special through everyone’s enthusiasm—that “our passion for music and learning Chinese connects us and transcends physical distance.” And some even felt sentimental from listening to the students’ songs.

高興 Team Gaoxing, CHIN 133 009, “恭喜恭喜” Greetings, Greetings

“Your singing voices and smiles made me feel happy and relaxed. I learned some new songs while watching your videos many times and I recalled how difficult it was for me to learn 恭喜恭喜 a long time ago in my Chinese class like you did. Great job, everyone! I hope you will keep enjoying learning Chinese!”

It can be seen that anyone, regardless of their education or their background, can enjoy something as festive and exultant as, “The Voices of Our Community.” Although the judges may not have participated in the singing contest by singing, we can still hear their voices and see how everyone, both young and old or here in Vancouver or anywhere in the world can enjoy this contest!

“From the students’ performances I can see they are very positive, optimistic and happy during the difficult period. I was also touched by our students and instructors’ hard work together for making the tremendous performance. Many many thanks to you all.”

“Their excellent pronunciation, superb singing skills, amazing voice, and their smile bring so much joy to me. It absolutely is a wonderful event!”

On behalf of the Chinese Language Program, we sincerely wish that you will also enjoy the “The Voices of Our Community” and feel the sense of community that we felt from participating and will continue to hold. Happy holidays, from us to you!