FRANCISCO ARRIAGA GOMEZ, a Mexican student from Shenzhen University (SZU) International Choir, together with four other choir members, received the first prize at an awarding ceremony in Beijing yesterday for their Winter Olympics-themed performance during the music competition of the fourth Silk Road & Young Dreams (SRYD).
The ceremony also marked the 100-day countdown to the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which will take place next year.
At the ceremony, Arriaga Gomez, also known as Frank, and the four SZU choir members, namely Zhang Haomiao, Wu Yalin, Huang Weihao and Hong Fahui, performed their choir’s original song titled “When the Ice is Shining.”
Zhang wrote the song’s lyrics and choir leader Shin Moonsub wrote the music. Shin is still in South Korea due to the pandemic.
The song, reflecting the fine sportsmanship of the Winter Olympics as well as the pursuit of dreams and the unity of humanity, won the first prize in the fourth SRYD music contest in August.
With the theme of “Rural Revitalization, Green Development and International Cooperation,” the fourth SRYD, guided by the China NGO Network for International Exchanges, aims to promote people-to-people bonds and enhance exchanges among youths in Belt and Road countries.
It also aims to highlight the youths’ responsibility and enrich pragmatic cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, according to the organizers.
“It is a meaningful song that promotes the international community’s value, and the last line which says ‘friendship unites our homelands’ touched me the most,” Frank said during an interview Oct. 21 before leaving for Beijing for the awards ceremony.
Frank is currently pursuing a master’s degree in TESOC (Teaching English to Speakers of Chinese) in SZU’s School of Foreign Languages.
“The Winter Olympics unite many countries and people who work together for the same goal,” Frank said. “The athletes have to train very hard, to an extent we cannot understand. Even though we are not participating in the Games, the spirit promoted by the Winter Olympics is especially valuable to us during the pandemic.”
Despite the fact that many choir members are not in Shenzhen, they have managed to record their parts from different places for a music video, which was then edited and submitted to the contest, Frank added.
Apart from studying in SZU, Frank also immerses himself in the Chinese language and culture by participating in many university competitions and cultural activities.
He said he is willing to become a bridge between China and his country to clarify the misconceptions and correct the stereotypes about China.
On SZU campus, Frank met two of his best friends, Lin Shu and Barbora Sloupova. They were both proud of Frank after learning he was going to Beijing for the ceremony.
Lin Yue, Frank’s teacher and TESOC program coordinator, also congratulated Frank and his choir mates’ efforts and wished them the best in their cultural exchange engagements and promotions.