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山东大学沈燕雯:Clash in Conformity, Coexist in Harmony
来源:21英语网  时间:2012-04-19 18:50

沈燕雯:山东大学选手,第17届21世纪杯全国英语演讲比赛二等奖获得者。

自我介绍:我是一个喜爱观察,乐于思辨的女生,热爱音乐,阅读,辩论,旅行。虽然个性相对沉静,但在交谈与论辩时绝对活跃。英语演讲自初中起就伴随我的成长,在思维和表达上给了我很大的启发和锻炼。我认为这是一个挑战自我,超越自我的最佳舞台,同时也更让人体会到这门语言的艺术与魅力。走上舞台,我乐于交流和分享我眼中的世界,无论精彩还是平凡,知识无涯,生命无限。

演讲稿:

When I was a volunteer for our University’s anniversary, I made friends with a Romanian exchange student from Manchester University in Britain. He told me he was a Muslim and that German was his mother-tongue. When asked why he came to China, he answered “I love classical Chinese, especially the literature of the Ming Dynasty”.

Just imagine how surprised I was. A Romanian from Britain who believes in Islam, speaks German, and came to China to study the literature of the Ming Dynasty. Today, in one person, like my friend, we can see the cultures of the East and the West co-existing in harmony. How amazing!

However, in many cases, the cultural divergence between China and the West seems hard to reconcile. In a film titledPushing Hands, the famous director Li An demonstrated the sharp conflicts between an old Chinese Tai’ji master Laozhu and his American daughter-in-law, Marsha. For Laozhu, it was the duty of his son to take care of him because he was old. He enjoyed life with all his family members around. But Marsha couldn’t bear her family life being interfered with by Laozhu, and only wanted to send him to a nursing home. With time going on, their clashes piled up. AS a result, Laozhu chose to live and struggle alone in the local Chinatown.

Family is a miniature of the world. Cultural clashes in a family only lead to loss of happiness and more broken hearts. In a global context, however, cultural conflicts, if not properly handled, will trigger misunderstanding, and even disasters between peoples and nations. To avoid these disasters, we will have to find out reasons for cultural clashes to better settle the conflicts.

From my perspective, cultural clashes derive from economical and political competition. Today,economic globalization and political pluralism have been the trend of development for countries in both the East and the West. And cultural diversity has become universal and inevitable.Americans prefer to call their culture “a collage”, “a mosaic”, or “a salad bowl”, while Chinese philosophy holds that “harmony generates vitality”. The core values of theses two cultures agree on one point: “harmony in diversity”. Endless conquering, battling and monopolizing can bring conformity but not harmony.

Ladies and gentlemen, if we choose to respect and communicate instead of rejecting each other, cultural clashes can be greatly reduced. An ethnocentric society stagnates in isolation. But a tolerant nation thrives on adaptation. In China today, skyscrapers are booming everywhere, but we can also take a trip to courtyard dwellings in Beijing, where Chinese tea houses sit next to European coffee bars. Images of various cultures coexist and form a delightful contrast for the eyes, for the taste, for the touch, for the hearing, and for the mind to experience.

Confucius said harmony does not demand conformity. To achieve harmony, and to avoid clashes, we yearn for mutual respect and tolerance, and draw strength from alien cultures to enrich and enhance our own. Conformity produces clashes. And harmony ensures coexistence. Learning to tolerate, to communicate and to accept, Chinese culture will preserve its uniqueness, grow out of all human essence, and be cherished by the globe.