26th Alberta Japanese Speech Contest
The 26thAnnual Alberta District Japanese Language Speech Contest was held on March 4th at the University of Alberta. This year attracted more hopeful applicants than ever before, including universities participating for the first time not only in the province of Alberta but from Saskatchewan as well.
As the head judge of the competition, Consulate-General Tanabe opened by expressing his appreciation to all those who contributed their efforts to make the competition possible, while encouraging the participants to take advantage of the occasion and deepen their knowledge of Japan as they go forward.
Competition Chairperson and Director of the University of Alberta’s Prince Takamado Japan Centre, Aya Fujiwara, emphasized the growing importance of learning other languages and diverse cultures as we interact with many racial minorities in present day society, expressing her hope that the participants will make use of the Japanese skills that they have acquired in order to grow mutual understanding.
30 participants from 7 universities – University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge, MacEwan University, Mount Royal University, University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Regina – gave speeches on chosen themes such as dreams for the future, memories from their youth and their beloved pop-stars.
In his closing address, University of Alberta Professor Christopher Lupke conveyed that, among other fields, culture, politics, and economics are spheres in Japan from which we can learn from. He also reminded listeners that through study of the expression of modesty and respectfulness in the Japanese language, one can discover the beauty of the spirit of Japan.