Shenzhen Government Online
Expats share changes of SZ in talent contest
From: Shenzhen Daily
Updated: 2020-12-15 17:12


(L-R) Alex Chambon from France, Russian Milanna Marchenko, Isa Willemina Maria Bults from the Netherlands, Phurin Sae-wang from Thailand, Japanese Yuji Kiura and Spanish Ruben Mato Alonso pose for a photo at the 11th Shenzhen Expats Chinese Talent Competition held at Futian Shangri-La Hotel yesterday. Bults, Marchenko and Chambon took the first, second and third prize, respectively, in the teenager group while Sae-wang, Kiura and Mato Alonso were the top winner, runner-up and second runner-up in the adult group. Sun Yuchen


The 10 contestants pose for a photo with the judges at the 11th Shenzhen Expats Chinese Talent Competition held at Futian Shangri-La Hotel yesterday. Photos by Sun Yuchen


Phurin Sae-wang from Thailand recites the poem “Prelude to Water Melody” by Chinese poet Su Shi at the competition. The 21-year-old was crowned the winner in the adult group.


Alex Chambon, an 11-year-old from France, recites “Ode to the Yellow River.” He won the third prize in the teenager group.


Japanese Yuji Kiura, 33, sings the song “As Boundless as the Sea and Sky.” He was the runner-up in the adult category.


Isa Willemina Maria Bults, 10, who hails from the Netherlands, practices martial arts. She was the top winner in the teenager group.


Seangvin Aing, 22, plays the guzheng music “Evening Songs on the Fishing Boat.” The Cambodian woman won the Excellence Award in the adult group.


Ruben Mato Alonso from Spain, 39, sings his self-written song “Shenzhen Represents My Heart.” He was the second runner-up in the adult group.


Russian Milanna Marchenko, 12, performs the recitation of the “Ballad of Mulan.” She won the second prize in the teenager group.

Bringing out the best in each of them, 10 finalists in the 11th Shenzhen Expats Chinese Talent Competition enthralled the audience by fervently sharing their views on the drastic changes that have happened to Shenzhen and their stories with the city in fluent Chinese.

The competition, a vehicle for expats living in Shenzhen to showcase their Chinese speaking and talents, was held in Futian Shangri-La Hotel yesterday. It was livestreamed on

Ten expats of 10 nationalities made it into the finals, which consisted of three rounds, specifically, a topical speech in Chinese, a word-guessing game in Chinese and a talent show.

Alex Chambon, an 11-year-old from France, has lived in Shenzhen for nine years. In his eyes, the biggest change of Shenzhen is represented by an increasing number of cars and buildings that soar higher.

Isa Willemina Maria Bults, a 10-year-old of Dutch parents, was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Shekou of Shenzhen. “I was crawling around on the Sea World Plaza before I could walk. Today, I’m still having fun when I roller skate in the square,” said Bults in her speech.

Yuji Kiura, who works in a Fortune 500 Japanese firm in Shenzhen, has been living in the city for five years and said he is proud to call himself a Shenzhener.

In his opinion, shared bikes and the expanding Metro network have made it more and more convenient to travel in Shenzhen, while the popularity of mobile payments has liberated people from carrying and using cash.

While the word-guessing game might throw down the gauntlet in a test of their familiarity with Chinese vocabulary, the talent show stunned the audience with a diversity of performances ranging from cadenced poetry recitation, mellifluous piano and guzheng pieces, affectionate singing, and martial arts performance.

Milanna Marchenko, a 12-year-old Russian girl, performed the recitation of the “Ballad of Mulan.” Bults, who delivered a martial arts performance in nimble movements, won the first prize of the teenager group. Phurin Sae-wang from Thailand bagged first place in the adult group.

Launched in 2010, the contest is an annual event hosted by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Shenzhen Municipal Government and Shenzhen Municipal Government Information Office, and organized by Shenzhen Daily and, the English-language portal of Shenzhen.