University hosted regional event in March
Two Mount Allison University students represented the University on the national stage this term, speaking at the Canadian National Japanese Speech Contest, held in Ottawa March 23-24.
Fourth-year French and Japanese student Hanna Garnier and third-year English and Japanese student Chong Zhang Qu both attended the national event after earning first place in their categories at the regional competition. Qu earned first prize in the intermediate category while Garnier earned first place in the advanced at regional competition held at Mount Allison earlier in the month.
Ten Mount Allison students participated at the 21st annual Atlantic Canada Japanese Speech Contest, which welcomed students from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to campus and was sponsored by the Japanese Consul-Generals for the respective regions.
“We were pleased to host the regional competition this year and have so many of our students participate,” says Miyako Oe, Instructor in Japanese in Mount Allison’s department of modern languages, literatures, and culture. “It takes a lot of preparation and courage to give a speech in language other than your first one. I wish to congratulate all students on their efforts and for representing Mount Allison so well during both competitions.”
Originally from China, Qu presented his speech titled “Dumplings and Family” at both the national and regional competitions.
“Dumplings are a sign of good fortune in my culture. My speech was about the role these play in family bonding time and also the struggle of being apart from your family,” he says. “Attending both competitions was a great experience, it was my first year participating at either level.”
The National Competition included a reception for participants from across the country at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence. Qu and Garnier also visited different areas of Ottawa and met with other students from universities across Canada over the weekend.
Qu started studying Japanese at Mount Allison and is now tri-lingual, speaking English, Mandarin, and Japanese. Along with his studies, he is also a volunteer with the MASSIE program and participated in the Cross-Cultural College program with KGU. He hopes to work aboard following graduation.
Garnier began studying Japanese as a teenager and participated in an exchange to Waseda University in Tokyo for part of her third year. This was her third time participating in the regional competition and first time at the nationals.
“My speech was about Asadora, which are long-running morning drama series on Japanese television,” says Garnier. “I wanted to explore the way these series depict women and what we can learn from this. I visited a town where one of the programs is set during my exchange so it was interesting to explore and present on this topic.”
Also tri-lingual, speaking English, French, and Japanese, Garnier hopes to work in languages and also plans to spend some time working abroad following graduation.
PHOTO CAPTION: A total of ten, eight pictured, Mount Allison University students, with Miyako Oe, Instructor in Japanese in Mount Allison’s department of modern languages, literatures, and culture, far right, third row, participated in the 21st annual Atlantic Canada Japanese Speech Contest hosted on campus last month. Following their first-place standings, two students, Chong Zhang Qu (top row, second left), and Hanna Garnier (middle row, second left) both represented Mount Allison at the Canadian National Japanese Speech Contest, held in Ottawa.