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第17届中国日报社“21世纪杯”全国英语演讲比赛亚军叶浩朗演讲视频
来源:21世纪英文网  时间:2012-04-26 15:5


叶浩朗:香港中文大学,第17届中国日报社21世纪杯全国英语演讲比赛亚军

Cultural clashes vs. coexistence between China and the West: My personal perspective
 

  There is a place in the world where traditional Chinese architectures can be found near decorated churches and mosques; where citizens celebrates Lunar New Year as well as Christmas and Easter; where in restaurants chopsticks lay side by side with knives and forks; where people on the street speaks both Chinese dialects and fluent English; where East meets West; where cultures clash and coexist.

  Honorable judges, ladies and gentlemen. You now get where I am referring to: Hong Kong. It is the city I am from. And I will give you my personal perspective.

  I am part of my university’s English Debating Team. This year we have two exchange students, a girl from Beijing and a guy from the United States. In one debate, the motion was “Liberal democracy should be the only form of government.” The American argued for the affirmative by justifying how liberal democracy upholds self determination; the Beijing girl debated on the negative by refuting self determination as the supreme goal overriding social development. It was a particularly heated debate probably because of the two members’ background, or because they had genuine opinion on the issue. But after the debate we all went for friendly chats and beer.

  What has my debating story to do with our theme? It came to me that my team is like a miniature Hong Kong, a society that sees cultures clash and coexist. I find the analogy inspiring on two levels.

  On the first level, cultural clashes and coexistence are never mutually exclusive. Our team members are made to disagree with the opposite side. But after the exchange of arguments and ideologies we can still sit down and hang out. Hong Kong works pretty much the same way. People have different styles. Westerners are passionate, while Chinese appears conservative. Westerners prefer direct criticisms; while Chinese exhibits courtesy. We do not concede to avoid conflict, yet despite these divergences we come along harmoniously in school, business, and social life. So it is not clashes versus coexistence, but clashes and coexistence.

  On the second level, cultural clashes and coexistence shape our success. From the debate, the American learned the Asian emphasize on society, the Chinese learned the underpinnings of Western political systems, and at the end of the day all of us learned and the team moved a step forward. In Hong Kong’s a-century-and-a-half history, we cherish different architectures, religions, festivals, cuisines, and languages. We make our diversity an advantage, not hindrance. We take cultural clashes and coexistence as a motivation for progression, not source of conflict. This is what makes Hong Kong the Oriental Pearl.

  Cultural clashes and coexistence will continue to mold 21st Century world. I believe Hong Kong is a great demonstration of the famous Confucius interpretation ‘harmony without homogeneity’. I believe similarly the East can learn from the success of the West, while the West can join hand with the emerging East. I believe cultural clashes and coexistence will be a force for the betterment of mankind.

  Thank you very much.