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Crossing the Sea
来源:21英语网  时间:2010-08-24 11:15

第三届“21世纪杯”全国英语演讲比赛冠军——梁励敏 北京外国语大学

梁励敏:生于浙江杭州,毕业于北京外国语大学,获英语语言文学硕士学位,研究生期间专攻方向为美国社会研究。2002年进入中央电视台英语频道采访组工作,所采写的新闻获得2003年全国新闻彩虹奖二等奖。

演讲稿:Crossing the Sea

  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. The title of my speech today is "Crossing the Sea".

  An English poet by the name of Rudyard Kipling once wrote in his poem "We and They":

  "All the people like us are We
  And everyone else is They
  We live over the sea
  While They live over the way
  We eat pork and beef with cowhorn-handled knives
  They who gobble their rice off a leaf
  Are horrified out of their lives."

  When these lines first caught my eyes, I was shocked-how could two peoples remain so isolated and ignorant of each other in the past? Today's society, of course, is an entirely different picture. Those people who used to eat with cowhorn-handled knives might be very skillful in using chopsticks, and those people who used to gobble their rice might be as well have taken to fish and chips.

  Indeed, just take China as an example: Our modern life has been influenced by Western style of living in so many ways that it's no longer surprising to see teenagers going crazy about rock-and-roll, whole families dining out at McDonald's and even rather elderly people dressed in Apple Jeans.

  However, these are only some expressions of the cultural changes taking place in our society today. What is really going on is a subtle but significant restructuring of the nation's mentality. Just look around.

  How many college graduates are ready to compete aggressively for every job opportunity, whereas not long ago they were asked just to sit idle and wait for whatever was to be assigned to them by the government?

  How many young people are now eager to seek for an independent life whereas only two decades ago they would rely totally on their parents to arrange for their future? Ask anyone who participates in today's speech contest. Who has not come with a will to fight and who has not come determined to achieve self-fulfillment in winning the game? And I'm quite certain that if Confucius had lived to see today's China, he would have been horrified to see young lovers kissing each other in public places in an unreserved expression of their passion.

  It is therefore evident that we as descendants of an ancient Eastern civilization are already living under strong inf1uence of the Western culture. But it is not only in China that we find the incorporation of the two cultures.

  Take the United States as an example: During the 1980s,in face of the overwhelming competition from Japan, many American companies such as the Ford began to adopt a teamwork management from their rivals, the essence of which, lay at the very core of Eastern culture.

  Take the Chinese acupuncture as another example: This traditional treatment of diseases is finally finding its way to the West and hence the underlying notion that illness is resulted from the imbalance between Yin and Yang within the body -- an idea which would strike any Westerner as incredible in the past!

  Ladies and Gentlemen, we live in a great epoch when the global integration of economy and the information revolution have brought cultures of the world closer than ever before. We live in a particular era when countries, East and West, find themselves in need of readjusting their traditional values. We live, at the same time, at a critical juncture of our evolution because such problems as ethnic conflicts and regional unrest are increasingly posing a threat to the peace and happiness of the whole human race. To cope with such an era and to embrace an even brighter future, we need to learn to live more harmoniously in a world community which is becoming smaller and smaller.

  My dear fellow students, our command of the English language renders it possible for us to gain an insight into Western culture while retaining our own cultural identity.

  Therefore, it is our sacred responsibility to promote the cultural exchanges and hence the mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world.

  It is my happiest dream that the new generation of Chinese will not only grow up drinking Coca-Cola and watching Hollywood, but also be blessed with the far-reaching benefits of multiple cultures; benefits that our forefathers had never, ever dreamed of.
  To end my speech, I would like to quote Rudyard Kipling again:

  "All the people like us are We
  And everyone else is They
  But once you cross over the sea
  You will end by looking on We
  As only a sort of They"  

  Thank you.