The 17th Japanese Speech Contest for Northern Thai University Students


On February 17, the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai and Old Japan Students’ Association, Kingdom of Thailand, Northern Region Office hosted the 17th Northern Thai University Students Japanese Speech Contest in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. Sophia University has been supporting this contest since 2011, offering the winner an opportunity to study abroad for one year.

The winner of this year’s contest was Ms.Natnalee Chompoo, a junior at Naresuan University.

In her second attempt at the contest, she passed the preliminary screening as in the previous round and was selected from among 20 contestants who participated in the finals, winning the contest, and seizing the opportunity to study abroad.

Ms. Natnalee Chompoo, a junior at Naresuan University, the winner of the contest

Many of the speeches given were based on personal experiences, ranging from social issues, enthusiasm for learning Japanese, gratitude to family members, and the value of communication, to episodes of personal growth and new insights gained through encounters with the people around them. Ms. Chompoo also shared stories from her middle school and high school experiences related to her favorite color with great emotion.

The title of her speech was “Chompoo.” In her bright and lively speech, she shared the following episode. “Since my last name, “Chompoo,” has a similar pronunciation and meaning to the word “pink” in Thai, I have loved the color pink since I was a child and have always picked pink for my clothes and personal belongings. However, many people in my middle school class thought that girls who liked pink were too vulnerable and wanted attention from boys, and my friends told me, ‘Pink only helps you look cuter, and it doesn’t suit you.’ Then when I entered high school and was asked by a friend what my favorite color was, I responded “pink,” with some hesitation, and was pleased to find out that my friend liked pink, too. My high school friend said, ‘Everyone has their own opinions and ideas. It is up to you to choose what kind of person you want to be.’ That gave me confidence in myself.”

Associate Professor Chie Urawa (left) presents the winning prize to Ms. Chompoo

At the award ceremony, Associate Professor Chie Urawa of Sophia University, The Center for Language Education and Research, who served as a judge, handed over the list of prizes to the winner.
In addition to a one-year tuition waiver, Ms. Chompoo will receive round-trip travel expenses, funds for living expenses, and etc., and is scheduled to study Japanese language for one year from September of this year at Sophia University.

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