When did you start learning Chinese? What inspired you to take up the language?
I started learning Chinese in 2017. I wanted to learn Chinese because I had heard it was an interesting and unique language. At the same time, I felt like Chinese was going to be a very important language in the future, and that further inspired me to take up the language
Tell us about your Chinese language learning journey? What has been the most unexpected or rewarding part of the experience?
The most rewarding part of my experience was learning an important skill, that I think will benefit me in the future. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed learning Chinese, thats part of the reason why I've continued studying the language.
What opportunities have opened up for you as a result of your Chinese speaking ability?
Several different opportunities have opened up for me, including speech competition and more. I also think that in the future my Chinese language skills will definitely help me in terms of job opportunities.
What do you like most about the Chinese culture?
One of the biggest differences between the two cultures is that Chinese culture has been heavily influenced by the deep ancient history.
What are the most striking differences between Chinese and Kiwi culture?
One of the most striking differences would be that the Chinese culture is about family, tradition and community whereas in New Zealand people are more focus on individual. The Chinese culture has long history of traditions that people still follow such as they celebrate Chinese festivals. Recently we had a public holiday for Matariki day which was celebrating the Maori culture and New Zealand started to have cultural traditions. In Chinese culture people like to dress formally to all occasions and display their culture in what their wear, for example Chinese women like to wear a dress called qipao which displays their culture whereas in New Zealand culture they normally just wear a shirt and pants or a dress and don't display their culture as much as Chinese people.
Why do you think other New Zealanders should learn Chinese? Do you have any tips for anyone thinking of taking up the language?
I think other New Zealander's should start learning Chinese because China is becoming an even more important to New Zealand economically, so I think speaking Chinese will become incredibly helpful. For those who are taking up the language, I think persistence is key.