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EALC: UWinnipeg hosts Japanese Language Speech Contest

Thu. Mar. 24, 2016

Regina Barrameda (left) with TA Heini LeeWinner of the Introductory Division of the 28th Annual Manitoba Japanese Speech Contest, Regina Barrameda with Heini Lee (right), Teaching Assistant for the Introduction to Japanese Language course

The University of Winnipeg’s East Asian Languages and Cultures Program hosted the 28th Annual Manitoba Japanese Language Speech Contest on Friday, March 4th. Fifteen students from both the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg gathered in Convocation Hall where they presented speeches they had conceived of and written by themselves.

Regina Barrameda, a first year student at the University of Winnipeg, won the Introductory Division in which she delivered a speech titled, “I Am a Woman of Body Positivity,” or 女性はいろいろな形を持っている (Josei ha iroiro na katachi wo motteiru) in Japanese. The runner-up in the Introductory division also was a UWinnipeg student, Aleksandra (Sasha) Mesongnik. 

Ms. Barrameda received free airfare and accommodations to compete in Canada’s National Japanese Speech Contest on Saturday, March 19th at the University of Toronto.  

Ms. Barrameda shared some of her thought on the experience.

When I first heard about the competition from my Japanese professor, I immediately thought of this as an opportunity to not only enhance my skills, despite this being my first year learning the language, but to share my story and to inspire others as well. Of course, as a beginner in this competition, I often got worried about not being able to get my points across due to my limited knowledge in Japanese, especially since mine was a sensitive topic about body image. However, with the help and encouragement from my teachers, family and friends, I was able to cast my fears aside and present my written speech to the public. I have always wanted to talk about my experiences with bullies and the issue of women with low self-esteem to spark some inspiration in someone who might be needing it. Thanks to this competition, I was able to achieve that goal and move up to the nationals as I represent the University of Winnipeg.