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吉林华桥外国语学院袁曾增:Cultural Clashes? Coexistence?
来源:21世纪英文网  时间:2012-04-20 11:22

袁曾增:吉林华桥外国语学院选手,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:

我是来自吉林华桥外国语学院双语学院英日双语的袁曾增。怀揣着对于英语的热爱,自大学第一次进行英语演讲比赛后,我便深深爱上了它。然而,我渐渐发现,比赛吸引我的不仅仅是因为它能提高我的专业知识和能力,更是因为我借此认识了众多来自大江南北的同样热爱英语,喜爱演讲的朋友们。大家一起努力,共同学习,不断进步。

我是个总也“停不下来”的人,大学期间参加如校园广播,活动主持,模拟联合国社团,志愿者活动等等各项活动,在不断充实自我的同时,我更是结识许多志同道合的朋友。我非常喜欢和大家一起,为目标,为梦想不断努力!

演讲稿:

Honorable judges, ladies and gentlemen. The other day, my friend told me that when his family learned that he got low back pain, a “clash” unexpectedly occurred. His Chinese mother suggested traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, while his American girlfriend proposed Western medicine. They argued over it for a long time. Well, however, after a thorough dialogue, his lovely ladies came to an agreement that it could work best taking advantage of both methods.

 

Nowadays, ranging from medicine to values and ways of thinking, cultural differences between China and the West become more striking due to frequent cultural exchanges. But does it mean that those differences in our cultures are really the catalyst for clashes? Are they inevitable? Couldn’t they “coexist” in peace?

 

I think, what is lying before us is just like my friend’s story. It's neither a battle to see who will be the winner nor a selection to check out whose is better than the other. It’s a state of coexistence by learning the essence, reflecting the insufficiency and seeking for the optimum through exchanges and dialogues. Rather than being seen as a cause for clashes, differences between cultures can serve as sources of complementarity.

 

As for coexistence, it doesn't mean isolation. Culture cannot be displayed in a frozen or static way but must be felt as if touching the pulse of dynamics. It is exchange that makes creativity possible. It doesn't mean sameness, either. Instead of the loss of identity, it has grown ever stronger when exchanges happen. For example, it’s not likely for you to be asked by your countryman like “What’s the implication of Spring Festival?” or “How do you value your family?” But such questions from foreign friends will make you reflect on yourself and your own culture.

 

Then people ask how Chinese can understand the West, how westerners make sense of China, and how to make coexistence a reality. I think for one thing, we can listen to the voices from tolerance in Confucianism and “seeking harmony without uniformity”(和而不同)in Taoism, put them into modern interpretation and make them serve the purpose of cultural coexistence of cultures. For another, we need to take "empathy", which means put ourselves in other's shoes, on the cultural level. For instance, looking at individualism through Western eyes, instead of simply using Chinese ideas, will make much sense.

 

Cultural clashes or cultural coexistence between China and the West? It is a question as easy as what my friend’s story tells, but it’s also as hard as the realization of our choice is in the need of all our tolerance and respect for other cultures. Underneath those cultural differences we know that it is "the same human nature breathes in all of us." So, ladies and gentlemen, why not give flowers and applauses to Mr. Cultural Coexistence.