honorable judges, ladies and gentlemen:
kipling said:" east is east, and west is west, and never the twain shall meet!" but now, a century later, they have met.
they have met in business. they have met in education. they have met in the arts.
some would argue that these meetings leave us with a choice between east and west ,but i believe the best future lies in the creative combination of both worlds. we can make western ideas, customs and technology our own, and adapt them to our own use. we can enjoy the best of all worlds, because our tradition is, above all, one of selecting the best and making it our own.
but, do western styles and values threaten our identity?
history makes it easy for us to think so-perhaps too easy.
some people seem to think that adopting western customs, such as a bride wearing white-which has long been a color of mourning in china, instead of the traditional chinese red for her wedding, is another submission to foreign intervention,--a betrayal of our heritage, they say.
they fear that as we become "globalized", we will no longer be chinese.
i do not agree.
history teachers that a strong and confident nation is at ease in hearing from the outside world.
the wedding of eastern and western cultures, whether in white gowns or red, brings us variety.
it is a rich banquet of special foods from all over the world.
as an amateur gourmet of chinese cuisine, our superb flavours delight me.
but my chinese taste appreciates food from any land.
i even allow the convenience of mcdonald's a place in my life without giving up my good taste.
my grandfather taught me to hum tunes of beijing opera from the time i was very young; they are deep in my spirit, part of my soul.
i love beijing opera, because it always reminds me of who i am.
but i am also a fan of modern pop music, the no.1 fan of spice girls on campus.
of course, it goes far beyond food, music and dance. it goes into values and ways of thinking about the world.
once upon a time, or so my teacher told me, a chinese boy and an american girl had a squabble.
both wanted to keep a bunny rabbit they had found in the garden.
surely you've seen a rabbit sunning himself in the grass.
nothing is more lovable, nothing more natural. no wonder they wanted him.
the chinese boy played his er-hu. happiness and joy, longing and passion, filled the air. the little rabbit swayed gently and began to move his ears in the direction of the music. he liked what he heard.