Speech contest winners inspired by anime

National 1 minute, 59 seconds


COMPETITORS from the 29th Japanese Speech Contest yesterday praised anime and Japanese pop culture for getting them interested in the country’s culture and language.

The contest was held yesterday at the Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA) of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD). Thirteen participants competed in three categories: beginner’s level, advanced level and open category.

Muhammad Nazirul Afiq Khalidi, a UBD second-year student, earned the champion title for his speech ‘A Dream Come True’ in the beginner’s level.

“_Anime _sparked my interest in Japanese culture. The jokes in anime are unique, and they’re rich in culture. From then on, my interest in Japan and its culture continued to grow,” he said.

The first runner-up in the beginner’s category, Lee Kheng Huan, said more people are signing up for Japanese language classes at UBD due to their interest in _anime _and pop culture.

“All of my friends in Japanese class are_ anime _fans. However, after learning more about Japan, we were intrigued by the food and clothing as well,” he said.

A final-year UBD student, Fatin Sabrina Abd Samad, earned the second runner-up title.

Six UBD students participated in the advanced level of the contest. Chung Ming Hui was crowned champion for his speech titled ‘Smartphone Addiction’.

The winner was awarded a plane ticket to Japan endorsed by All Nippon Airways (ANA) and a Japanese-themed goodie bag.

Nurliza Abd Zabar, a 24-year-old UBD student, got first runner-up while the second runner-up position went to a third-year UBD student, Khairol Redzwan Haji Nasir.

The first runner up, who was awarded for her speech ‘English Conversation Café’, believes that Japanese pop culture is piquing people’s interest in the language.

“Japan produces many good songs and people (including myself) would like to sing along to them and understand the lyrics,” said Nurliza.

Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Noriko Iki said one of the advantages of learning a foreign language is that it helps people understand the culture as well.

She said the Japanese Speech Contest is one of the oldest foreign language speech contests conducted in Brunei and is one of the ways to strengthen ties between Brunei and Japan.

“I believe that the history of this contest symbolises the sustainable cultural and educational collaboration between Japan and Brunei and also shows our continuing efforts to develop our relations,” she added.

The Brunei Times