Ishan Paranjpe ’14 participated as one of four members of a United States team in the 4th Annual Chinese Bridge International Competition in China. Approximately 150 contestants representing forty-three countries competed. Ishan won first place in the intermediate category of the Chinese Bridge National Speech Contest sponsored by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) in the Spring of 2011 which secured him the envied spot on the United States international team. Paranjpe was the only U.S. student west of Washington, D.C. to receive the honor. The trip occurred from October 13 to November 1.
“There were three rounds of intense competition,” said Mandarin teacher Hua Zhang P’12. The first round involved a series of carnival like games that, when successful, instigated a challenge question for the student to answer. “Those were really tough questions,” said Zhang, “and the event demanded not only superior control of Chinese knowledge but also mental acuity and motor skills. The games were timed and stressful.” Paranjpe answered all five questions correctly after each game, receiving all points, while the other two U.S. contestants did not answer the questions correctly and sacrificed points for the team.
The second round of competition occurred at the Lan Hi Jun Supermarket of the Chongqing Department Store and involved “thematic” shopping combined with speaking and performing without preparation. An impromptu skit was based on a random topic. “Our team drew the topic 移居重庆 （Moving to Chongqing, China), and three of them, including Ishan did a nice job gaining 95.8 of 100 points.” The event concluded with a talent show.
“The difference between the top teams was by just fractions,” said Zhang. While the group was not one of the top three awarded teams, Paranjpe was one of a few students recognized for superior performance with the Individual Excellence Award for which he received a semester scholarship to study in China.
Students were interviewed in a television studio format. Five students were selected for the interview representing five continental regions; Paranjpe was selected for North and South America. Click here to view Paranjpe’s interview.
At closing ceremonies, Paranjpe played a kuaiban as a solo performance. Click play in the video box below to view his incredible performance.