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华南师范大学叶子晴:Cultural Clashes and Co-existence between the East and the West
来源:21世纪英文网  时间:2012-04-20 11:14

叶子晴:华南师范大学选手,第17届21世纪杯全国英语演讲比赛一等奖获得者。

自我介绍:

我来自广东,这里开放的文化使我很早就接触英语并产生了浓厚的兴趣,现在是一名大二的英语专业学生。性格开朗,不乏幽默感,总是跟周围的人嘻嘻哈哈。但直爽的我也有理性的一面,喜欢独立思考,喜欢在一次次挑战中超越自我,成为一个更优秀的人。每天再累,都会对自己说,现在是一步一步的慢慢成为想要成为的人。白羊座的我,有无限的热情和活力,抓住每一次机会,挑战自己。

演讲稿:

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.

Have you ever been to the National Museum of China? If you have, you must have been swept off your feet. If you haven’t, don’t worry. I’ll take you there. The moment you step into it, you’ll be stunned by its grandeur. Looking above, you’ll see numerous squares with decorative designs extending from this side to the far end. Combined with the beams of light penetrating the windows, its simpleness and delicacy can always give delight to our eyes and instill in us a sense of history and culture. Those 380 squares with decorative designs are called “Zao jing” in Chinese which represent an ancient architectural structure.

Many of us appreciate it, but few of us know the story behind it. In the year 2003, the renovation bid of the National Museum went to a mixed team of Chinese and German architects. The German side brought in a state-of-the-art concept from the west while the Chinese architects provided cultural support. Everything went well until the first draft came out. “We want a roof that curves up!” said German architects. “But we want it to be flat!” said Chinese ones. Problem arose. They went through countless discussions, numerous debates, myriads of assessments and finally arrived at a consensus---it's the history of this museum that means the most to Chinese people. A continuity of the architectural style is essential. But they also added some new elements into it. In the future, flowerbeds and wicker chairs will be placed on the greenbelt above the roof, which will become the biggest roof garden and leisure facility in Beijing.

Ladies and gentlemen, those architects worked shoulder-to-shoulder in rounds of disputes for seven years and finally presented us with this gorgeous national museum. We are not the architects of the museum, but we are the architects of our culture and of the whole world. Every one of us, east or west, coming from different backgrounds, must have different values and beliefs. It is the strong conviction in our own cultural identity that leads us into endless rounds of clashes, confrontations and even catastrophes.

But do clashes between the East and the West mean that we need to eliminate differences? Do clashes between the East and the West mean that different cultures can’t go side by side? Clashes are inevitable, but we dohave a choice. We can use hatred, jealousy and irritation to stir up wars or we can choose understanding, tolerance and cooperation to lay the foundation of a harmonious world. On theNew Year’s Eve of 2010, the White House released a video in which president Obama sent his regards to Chinese people all over the world. Wearing a red tie, he said, “Michelle and I sent our warmest wishes to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the people of Asia and all those around the world who are celebrating the Lunar New Year.”

He showed us the right attitude we should adopt. It is we who should realize the world will never consist of only one culture. It is we who should respect the differences and be tolerant. It is we who choose to learn from each other or to close our door. It is we who decide to have a harmonious world where different ideas are spread or a monotonous world where diversity is diminished. Accepting different cultures may be challenging and risky, but that’s how we gradually realize the importance of preserving our own culture and how we improve it step by step.

Ladies and gentlemen, guess what? Next time, when you say "I love the weather" to Westerner, he may answer, "I love it too. By the way, where are you going?"

Thank you very much.