2021 “Young Voice, China Story,” an English-speaking contest held over three months in which nearly 20,000 students between the ages of 6 and 18 took part, has attracted a lot of attention for providing students with an outlet to display their English talent and showcase their veneration of China to the world. Participants share their stories on the topics “This Is Me,” “Changes In My City,” “If I Had A Time Machine” and “A World That Has Changed The World.”
Let’s listen to the thoughtful insights of one top-prize and two first-prize winners in Middle School Division.
If I had a time machine
As a foodie, I am not just interested in the taste of food itself, but also the story behind it. If I had a time machine, I’d travel to the past to find out the history of one of my favorite Western dishes, pizza. Regarding its origin, there have been numerous theories, though no consensus has ever been reached. One of the theories is, surprisingly, related to China. It says that Marco Polo brought the Chinese nang back to Europe, and eventually it became the pizza. If I had a time machine, I’d be thrilled to ask Marco Polo and verify the story.
I am not quite sure whether the world-renowned pizzas were truly originated from Chinese food or not, but certainly an increasing number of Chinese cuisines have gained huge popularity over the past century; if I had a time machine, I would also be interested to see how China’s participation and involvement in the world during the last 100 years have developed foreigners’ curiosity for Chinese culture, predominantly Chinese food.
I have travelled to about two dozen countries and regions, but in all of which, Chinese food is always popular and welcome. I have witnessed Chinese cuisines incorporate the highlights of other cuisines to further refine recipes. This is the best part about Chinese cuisine: It is able to integrate the attributes of other cuisines and re-innovate them. For example, the Beijing Roasted Duck Pizza is a classical fusion dish that combines the characteristics of both Chinese and Western cuisine. If I had a time machine, I’d invite Marco Polo to have a try.
If I had a time machine, I would be telling the Chinese cuisine story while spreading the Chinese culture to the people long before and after us.
If I had a time machine
Before I start my speech, I’d like to ask a question. If you had a time machine and there were two buttons in front of you. One could bring you back to the past, and the other would take you to the future. Which one would you choose? Many people will choose to go to the future. However, I prefer going to the past. Why do I make the choice? Because I want to visit a famous man. Three years ago, I had a chance to travel to the former site of the Silk Road. There are Gobi desserts and mountains on the way. It’s so hot and drought.
At that time, I was curious how the people in ancient China traveled in this tough environment and built the famous Silk Road. So I went back to the year 139 BC. In a great boundless dessert, many camels were lining up and walking across it. I could visit a high-spirited young man in the caravan, Zhang Qian, who is the founder of the Silk Road, an outstanding explorer in Chinese history.
From the talk to Zhang Qian, I could know the initial intention of the mission and how many difficulties he had gone through on the way. I’d like to tell him that his exploit created a famous Silk Road. It becomes a very important trade route connecting the West and the East.
Nowadays, after more than 2,000 years, a new “Silk Road” is being built, we call it “the Belt and Road Initiative.” It inherits the ancient Silk Road spirit to make a new trade route connecting with different countries. These are the reasons why I respect Zhang Qian as a great explorer, because he is smart and brave.
He inspire me to be an explorer like him. Now, I wanna push the button to the future and explore the space and the universe.
If I had a time machine
I can never forget, in January last year, my mom and I went to Wuhan for travelling: visiting the Yellow Crane Tower, eating local food … At that time, we knew nothing about the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we vaccinate ourselves, and follow the government’s orders.
But I still ask myself: When can I go abroad and visit the world? When can I take off my mask and breathe freely? I thought for a long, long time … Suddenly one day, I had a time machine, I got onto it and came to 2031. At that time, I step into a hospital and become a doctor. At present, the pain in the neck – COVID-19 – has been controlled by human beings as technology is developing fast. We have developed a new coronavirus special effects drug. Not only can injections be given, but patients can also choose to use other treatments.
At that time, regardless of age, the COVID-19 is as easy to cure as the common cold, and we will not be afraid of the virus. Humans have invented tiny smart chips that automatically identify virus variants by high-speed computing and treat them with specific treatments.
At that time, human and viruses can live harmoniously together. I treat some patients with COVID-19 daily, men and women, young and elderly, but none of them are frightened, even though they are coughing and having fevers, they still believe that I can treat them well, they come in admiring. I first take out the chip, quickly analyze the types of COVID-19 they’ve got, recommend the suitable treatment, and also give specific to their close contactors.
I work diligently for a long time, and, the virus slowly disappeared. COVID-19 has been controlled perfectly in 2031, it will never bother human beings again, and, finally, they will return to the place where they should have been at first.
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