The 2007 Northern California Chinese Cultural Competition
By Developing Virtue Schools
Translated by Sunny Chye
The Chinese Cultural Competition has already become one of the important traditions of the Union of Northern California's Chinese Schools. Due to the first AP Chinese test scheduled in America on the 9th of May, as well as the enormous appeal of the Chinese economical market, learning Chinese has been met with greater fervor than before. Therefore, on the 20th of May this year, there were a total of 20 teams which participated in the competition. The atmosphere at the competition venue, the headquarters of the World Newspaper in San Francisco, was bustling as well as spectacular.
Due to regulations of the competition, all participants must have stayed in America for a period of 6 consecutive years to qualify for the competition. Also, if one's team was one of the top four groups during the Nationals, one could no longer participate in the competition. Thus, the participants of this meaningful competition are often changed, and there are always new faces abound each year. This year there were even some twelve years old in the competition, bringing a fresh vibe to the competition.
The competition uses the method of hitting the buzzer, and each team must have four competitors. In each round of the competition, there are 30 questions, with 20 individual answer questions and 10 group answer questions. With every correct answer, 10 points are added, whereas 5 points are deducted for every wrong answer. The scope of questions are comprehensive, ranging from daily life, to medicine, to literature, to geology, to history and finally idioms. The questions are provided by the Union Of Northern California Chinese Schools. Because of the variety of questions offered, the American-born-Chinese are able to gage the level of the competition.
This year the Boy's School had nine boys who qualified for the competition, therefore they were split into two group, while the Girl's School had five girls who qualified and formed a group. During the qualifying stage, there were four rounds, each round with five groups. The top three groups of each round advanced onto the next stage. All the Boy's School and Girl's School teams got into the next round by being the top seeds in each round they were in. During the semifinals, the two Boy's School teams were put together in the same division, and at the last question of the round, the inexperienced B team answered the question wrong and lost points. This ended with a three-way tie with two other groups, and during this tiebreaker, the B team was eliminated from the competition. However, since this is their first time in the competition, for them to have such progress is already astounding enough as it is.
In the end the Boy's School A team and Girl's School team both qualified for the finals. The level of competition intensified as all the teams that managed to get into the finals were all very qualified. We can imagine, it is not very easy to hit the buzzer first with five other participants competing with you. Not only that, one must remain totally calm when answering the question; this itself is a hard test which the teenagers can learn from.
The Boy's School and Girl's School teams both were steadfast in their answers, resulting in a second place for the Boy's School, and third place for the Girl's School. The first place winners Berryessa School had a good team that was made of four girls with solid foundations in Chinese Culture as well as intuition about the answers, astounding the spectators. Since it is such a prestigious school, its screening of the participants for such a competition is intense, choosing only the creme of the crop to participate. We are very happy to have been able to compete with such a good school, making the competition even more fun to watch.