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Video poem wins trip to Guangzhou for young Wellingtonian

Catharina Lee wrote her first poem, made her first video and became one of five winners of an all-expenses-paid trip to Southern China’s gateway city of Guangzhou.

Entries in the competition for New Zealand Chinese Language Week, sponsored by China Southern Airlines and the Guangzhou Tourism Bureau, were required to be submitted via video on Instagram.

“I created an Instagram just for this,” said Lee, “definitely well worth it!”

“I decided to take a pretty personal perspective on this awesome opportunity to go to Guangzhou, and in the meanwhile had a few ‘firsts’.”

New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust Co-Chair Jo Coughlan said,‘The Trust was delighted to see nearly 50 entries to the competition from all over New Zealand.

General Manager of China Southern Airlines Auckland Office, Lily Wang, said, “Entries were creative, interesting and enjoyable to watch. It was a very difficult decision to pick five winners.”

As judges, Coughlan and Wang made their decision based on use of language, interest in Chinese culture and thirst for knowledge, enthusiasm and sense of humour.

Catharina Lee described her poem, ‘Roots’, as “a personal reflection on my experience of being a first generation Singaporean/Malaysian/ Chinese/New Zealander”.

Her entry was described by the judges as “a thoughtful and moving poem expressing how it is ‘to be Chinese but not Chinese”, as a Kiwi born Chinese person who has never been to China”.

Catharina Lee’s entry is here.

The other winners who will join Lee on the trip to Guangzhou  in December are Megan Robinson and Bridget Kirk of Dunedin, and Shilo Kino and Jessica Evans of Auckland.