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香港中文大学叶浩朗:Cultural clashes vs. coexistence between China and the West: My personal perspective
来源:21世纪英文网  时间:2012-04-20 10:51

叶浩朗:香港中文大学,第17届21世纪杯全国英语演讲比赛亚军

选手简介:叶浩朗就读香港中文大学四年级,主修计量金融学。叶同学热衷演讲辩论,也活跃于商业个案分析比赛。他是第六届中大英语演讲比赛季军、第七届全港大专英语演讲比赛季军、和第九届中大英语演讲比赛亚军。他是大学英语辩论对的前副队长,曾经代表中大远赴爱尔兰和澳大利亚,分别参与全球和亚太地区大学英语辩论冠军赛。他也是香港会计师公会二零零八年度专业资格课程个案分析比赛亚军队伍的成员,同时获得最佳个人演说奖。他在二零一零年暑期,于上海德勤华永的管理顾问团队进行六周实习。

演讲稿:

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.