Eva’s Chinese Bridge Journey: Crossing Language Boundaries and Exploring Chinese Culture

The “Chinese Bridge” competition is a global platform that bridges cultures and languages. It showcases the beauty of Chinese language and culture, providing an opportunity for participants to learn, share, and connect. Through this bridge, young learners from around the world gain insights into China’s rich heritage. Among them stands Eva Ilić, a Serbian girl whose journey with Mandarin has opened a new world for her.

After her initial interest in Mandarin, Eva Ilić’s journey of learning the language has been remarkable. In 2019, Eva received an unforgettable 18th birthday gift—a trip to China. She visited Beijing and Shanghai with her parents, seeing sights like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. Being up close with China sparked Eva’s biggest dream: to ‘come to China often.’ Attending the “Chinese Bridge” competition was a transformative journey for Eva Ilić. After years of hard work and dedication to learning Mandarin, she finally stood on the stage of the 22nd Chinese Bridge-Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students and won the global championship.

In 2023, Eva’s dream came true: she had begun to master this ‘world’s hardest yet most beautiful language. In an interview with China News Service, she shared her learning experience: At first, she couldn’t hear the difference in Chinese tones, so she ‘trained her ears’ by watching popular Chinese TV shows and variety shows. During her studies, she further discovered the beauty of Chinese characters, describing them as ‘like painting, unique, beautiful, and interesting.’ She also adopted a Chinese name—Li Yifan.

Through her journey of learning Mandarin and exploring China, Eva has gained immense knowledge and personal growth. Her passion for the language and culture has led her to become a champion in the “Chinese Bridge” competition. Participating in the “Chinese Bridge” competition has also deepened Eva’s feelings towards China. The competition has also become a platform for Eva to share her stories about China with the world. Her experiences in China have strengthened her bond with the country, and she hopes to continue bridging the gap between Serbia and China through her work and advocacy.

Eva hopes to be a ‘bridge’ connecting friendship between Serbia and China. Currently, she runs her own tattoo shop in Belgrade, incorporating Chinese elements like characters and folding fans into her designs. She also plans to work as a tour guide, showing Chinese tourists the authentic Serbia. Eva’s deep affection for China will continue endlessly. She loves wearing traditional Chinese qipaos and speaking fluent Mandarin because ‘it’s already a part of my life.

With the increasingly close cultural exchanges between China and Serbia, more and more Serbians, like Eva, are encountering, understanding, and falling in love with China. As a native of Belgrade, Eva has witnessed a continuous growth in the number of locals learning Mandarin. Compared to seven years ago, the number of Chinese language classes has doubled.

Eva’s dedication and achievements are admirable, inspiring young people to bravely pursue their dreams and goals. As more and more non-Chinese speakers begin to learn Mandarin, the importance of learning Mandarin for non-native children cannot be overstated, as it opens doors to rich international cultural exchanges. If you don’t have a clue about how to get your child to learn Mandarin, a great way to start is through eChineseLearning, an online Mandarin school with 18 years of history that offers 1-to-1 Chinese classes to students from around the world.

If you are interested in having your kid learn Chinese online, sign up for a free trial lesson by leaving a comment below, and we will contact you as soon as possible.

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