The award ceremony for the Sixth “Literacy CUHK” essay competition was held on 12 November by the Chinese Language Teaching Development Centre (CLTDC) of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature (the Department) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Prof. Max Xiaobing TANG, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Prof. Sze Wing TANG, Chair of the Department, officiated at the ceremony. It is an honour to have Mr. Leo Fai Hung MA, Head of New Asia College Library and United College Library and Mr. Ka Hing NGAN, Judge of the sixth “Literacy CUHK” as the award presenters, as well as Prof. Xitao FAN, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof. Samuel Yeung Shan WONG, Associate Dean (Education) of the Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Frankie Kwan Kit WONG, Associate Dean (Student Affairs) of the Faculty of Social Science as guests of the ceremony to share the joy with the winners. After nearly half a year of collecting and reviewing entries, 24 winning articles were selected among the over 500 entries.
Contestants are encouraged to illustrate the appealing campus sceneries and unveil stories of CUHKers. The winning entries cover a wide spectrum of theme including the discussion of interpersonal relationship with a bowknot; reflecting on the problems caused by artificial food in the commercial society through a glass of soybean milk and taking Lam Tsuen River as the breakthrough point to demonstrate the tension between beauty and ugliness. The award-winning works demonstrate the humanistic spirit of CUHK with good expression of personal thoughts on life and society, and criticism with reason and compassion.
Prof. Max TANG mentioned that the 13th century Persian poet Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” The setbacks and tempering can often inspire people to think more and listen to the inner voices be neglected, and award-winning work of this year can truly reflect that. Be compounded by uncertainties and anxieties in the midst of lingering global pandemic, the winning submissions are still rich in content, each with a unique standpoint and perception. Moreover, awardees are from various faculties and departments, which shows literature belongs to everyone who feels connected with the University or life, not only limited to a particular group of people.
Prof. Sze Wing TANG noted in his speech, “The limits of language mean the limits of world. Words bring us not only graceful writing style, but also a colourful world. I hope everyone can give full play to the power of language by finding his or her phrases and record life with language while bearing the weight of life with literature.” It echoes the goals in organising “Literary CUHK”, which are to promote literary creation on campus and encourage students to coalesce views they might have on the scenery or community of CUHK. Literature can be a medium to express how they see CUHK, and this form of reflection can be projected further into society.
“University Chinese” is a compulsory course for the University Core Requirement, offered and managed by the Department. To motivate students’ interest in learning 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 “中大．山水．人文” (CUHK, Landscape, Humanities). Campus literary walks are also organised to encourage students to feel the power of literature. The CLTDC has organised “Literary CUHK” 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 “Literacy CUHK” activities is available at the Learning Chinese Outside Classroom webpage at https://www.chltcac.cuhk.edu.hk/culitrecentnews.