The awards ceremony for the Eighth Literary CUHK Essay Competition was held on 3 November 2023 by the Chinese Language Teaching Development Centre (CLTDC) of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Nearly five hundred submissions were received. After almost half a year of calling for and reviewing entries, 23 essays were awarded.
Eight guests were invited to join the awards ceremony, including Prof. Max Xiaobing TANG (Dean of the Faculty of Arts), Prof. Wing Hung KO (University Dean of Students) Mr. Leo Fai Hung MA (Head of New Asia College Library and United College Library), Dr. Frankie Kwan Kit WONG (Associate Dean (Student Affairs) of the Faculty of Social Science), Prof. Marques Shek Nam NG (Dean of Students of Chung Chi College), Prof. Kenneth Kam Siu CHEUNG (Dean of Students of New Asia College), Prof. Morris Siu Yung JONG (Dean of Students of Shaw College), and Prof. Vincent Chi Kwan CHEUNG (Dean of Students of CW Chu College).
Contestants are encouraged to depict the scenic beauty of the campus and share their personal experiences as the CUHKers. The winning entries cover a wide variety of themes including reflections on the loss of childhood memories brought about by the plastic bags in caa caan teng (local-style cafes), exploring the usefulness of “science’s uselessness”, depicting the connection and memories between family members and a wardrobe, and more. The essays have demonstrated exceptional skills in conveying emotions, vividly depicting landscapes, and offering insightful critiques, showcasing the literary talents of CUHK students.
Prof. TANG Sze Wing, Chair of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, noted in his speech that Literary CUHK has received enthusiastic support from students and alumni since 2015. As one of the activities under the project entitled “Learning Chinese Beyond the Classroom”, the aim of the competition is to encourage participants to understand the campus and the world through literature and promote writing. He also emphasized that the competition provides participants with a valuable opportunity to step out of the classroom, immersing themselves in the ambiance of learning Chinese literature.
Additionally, ceremony in this year ceremony featured the “awardees’ recitation session” for the first time, where four students took the stage to recite selected portions of their entries, providing the audience with an alternative way to appreciate the excellence of their works beyond reading.
To motivate students’ interest in learning the Chinese language, the Department has edited and published teaching materials for students by combining the unique historical background and environmental features of CUHK. This includes a collection of selected literary works about CUHK, known as CUHK, Landscape, and Humanities (中大．山水．人文). Literary CUHK is organized for all students and alumni every year since 2015 to arouse their interest in creative writing in Chinese and to enhance their observation and expressive skills through the writing competition. It is believed that the power of literature will pass through the ages and shine uniquely in the young generation.
More Information on Literary CUHK is available at the Learning Chinese Outside Classroom webpage at https://www.chltcac.cuhk.edu.hk/culitrecentnews.