On December 18, 2019, a welcoming gala for new international students, with the theme of "Chinese is a bridge and an international education builds a home", was held by the International College for Chinese Studies in the Yi-fang Auditorium on NNU’s Suiyuan Campus.
The gala began at 6:30 p.m. It was so anticipated that a huge crowd gathered. All the seats of the Yi-fang Auditorium were quickly taken, which led to some of the audience having to sit in the aisles on chairs brought in by themselves. Guests and judges present included Lixin Tian, vice president of Nanjing Normal University, and some other people from inside and outside of NNU. They rated each performance, then finally presented the awards according to the score received.
The gala consisted of 12 performances given by students from five countries and regions, starting with a powerful hip-hop break dance. Accompanied by the Guzheng (also known as the Chinese zither) and Chinese pop music, the glamorous Chinese dance injected some exoticism into an otherwise traditional Chinese cultural performance. Two female singers showed their talent and their splendid Chinese language skills by singing a popular song called A Little Happiness, enchanting the whole audience with a feast for the ears. A jubilant Tajik dance featuring Dandan Ma had such a contagious energy that many students couldn’t help standing up, singing and dancing with the girl on stage at their seats. Apart from these vigorous performances, a magic show conducted by a Russian student successfully captivated the audience. Everyone held their breath when astonishingly a bottle of wine suddenly appeared out of nowhere and then disappeared again into thin air. This miraculous magic show was finally awarded “The Most Popular Performance” at the end of the gala.
Just before the show began, Jiajun Yu and Fei Li, boys from Fiji and Tajikistan respectively, were rehearsing their program backstage and shared their feelings. “This is, for both of us, our first year in China and we became best friends after meeting each other at NNU. We're preparing a playlet adapted from the movie Frozen. We spent two months rehearsing for a better performance. We are nervous now but very confident in ourselves at the same time.” Later, during their performance, the atmosphere came to a climax when the song Let It Go was played.
Two Japanese girls also brought their energetic showcase Koidance to the stage, igniting the hearts of the audience. Shortly before the show, in front of the big mirror backstage, the two girls were dancing to the music. During break time, they talked about their feelings after coming to China. Kitamura expressed her joy, “After arriving in China, I made some friends from different countries, and my teachers here took good care of me. Friendship between my Japanese friends and me deepened quite a bit during rehearsals.” Her friend Shiotani who was standing by her added with a little regret, “I will soon return to Japan, so I hope that during the rest of my days in China I can cherish every minute and make more friends here.”
At the end of the gala, the best performers were given awards by the judges. Fellow performers embraced and celebrated on the stage, while loud cheers came up from the audience.