~ October 2016 meeting ~
China Friendship, Food
and Cultural Delights
Friday 28 October 2016, 5:30 p.m.
In July this year, Jeanette Jones returned to China for what was to be a time of wonderful reunions, culturally rich and surprising hospitality and new friendships. It was an opportunity to share days in the lives of those people who have become so important to her in her weekly face-to-face chats with them, through the Chinese social media sites, WeChat and QQ. It would introduce her husband, Tony, to China and as they travelled without fellow English speakers for the majority of the time, it was a chance for Jeanette to rely on her beloved Mandarin conversation.
The trip was a heart-warming time which reinforced the friendships that Jeanette values so much. It has led to her being introduced to more interesting people and her WeChat list of friends has grown. She is quick to say, though, that every one of their kind hosts came into her life as a result of the New Zealand China Friendship Society. Come along and share her photos and tales.
Jordan Lankshear, a Nelson Youth Councillor from Nelson College received a grant from NZCFS Nelson to travel to Huangshi with Nelson President Ferry van Mansum and Mayoral representative Bill Findlater, to celebrate the opening of the Nelson Garden. He will report on his experience during the first part of the meeting.
The meeting will be at Hearing House, 354 Trafalgar Square (next to Synagogue Lane). It will be preceded by a short business meeting and a shared meal costing $12 from the Nelson Oriental Restaurant. Visitors are welcome.
To arrange catering, please ring:
Sally Warren, ph. 546 6637 by Tuesday 25 October
New member – We welcome Karin Clyne who came first as a guest of Rosalina McCarthy, and look forward to meeting her at future meetings.
NZCFS Spring Garden Party – Unfortunately, this event, scheduled for September 25, did not happen. The weather was not good and while it was not actually raining, in the afternoon, it would not have been suitable for garden partying.
A week in the life of the NZCFS president in China – The NZCFS web-site is presently featuring an interesting report from our president on a recent official trip largely focused on the legacy of Rewi Alley. A varied group of International and Chinese people first attended a brief meeting of the Gung Ho (ICCIC) executive in Beijing, before flying to Lanzhou for functions at Lanzhou City University. Then it was on to Shandan by train to visit Shandan Bailie School, the graves of Rewi Alley and George Hogg and to unveil a statue which is the first stage in building a new Bailie International Vocational College. Also involved here was Xi Yuanping, who is the young brother of President Xi Jinping; their father was an early Honorary Principal of Shandan Bailie School and features along with Rewi Alley on the new statue.
Then it was on to Zhangye and then the train to Dunhuang to attend the first ‘Silk Road (Dunhuang) International Cultural Expo’ and the ‘High-end International Forum’, a section of which was called ‘Internationalist Spirit of Rewi Alley’. Speakers in this section came from Youxie, NZ Embassy, Gung Ho, and NZCFS (Dave Bromwich and Maurice Alley). There was also time for entertainment and to visit Mogao Grottoes and ‘Echoing Sand Mountain’.
For a fuller report go to nzchinasociety.org.nz/27538/a-week-in-the-life-of-the-nzcfs-president-in-china/.
From Nelson Executive, September
Spring Festival: September 25, 2-4 p.m. Garden party in Huangshi Chinese Garden.
Children’s Culture Camps: The Chinese Society will run a Children’s Culture ‘Camp’ for one day in the school holidays. Lori and the MLAs are involved and Lori will report back at the next meeting with a view to the branch running one in 2017.
NMIT Moon Festival September 15: Celebration is for all foreign students and will feature a variety of Asian culture.
Sister-City: Ferry showed the meeting a photograph of the ceramic eels which will be Nelson’s gift for the opening of the ‘Nelson Garden’ in Huangshi. Members of the delegation are to attend at NCC to inform councillors of plans and will also practise waiata.
There was a reminder that a new Treasurer and more committee members will be required for next year.
Hearing House was not big enough for the large number at the August meeting. It was decided that, if large numbers continue, a larger venue be sourced.
From Nelson Executive, October
The NMIT Spring Festival was attended by several members.
Children’s Culture Camp: A one day camp was held at the Victory Community Centre by the Chinese Association with the assistance of the MLAs and the Confucius Institute. 45 children attended.
Huangshi delegation visit: Sister-City: Ferry has been interviewed and there has been an article and photo in “The Leader”. He is also preparing a report for the SCNZ newsletter, the NZCFS website, and perhaps “Live Nelson”.
Rewi Alley Exhibition: Ferry is in talks with the Nelson Provincial Museum. It is hoped to obtain the exhibition by mid-February.
MLA Haley will be returning to China in December. We plan to farewell Haley in December.
From other branches
Wellington branch newsletter reports that Wai-te-Ata Press marked a collaboration between the Dominion Federation of New Zealand Chinese Commercial Growers and Victoria University of Wellington with the unveiling of the sole surviving Chinese language typeface in New Zealand.
The typeface can be characterised as truly a diamond emerging from the rough, after having been unearthed from a farmer’s field in Pukekohe. It holds enormous cultural significance within the wider Chinese community, as it was used in the printing of the monthly Chinese growers newsletters from 1952 – 1972. Additionally, historical copies of the Growers’ newsletters were also on display, adding to the significance of the typeface collection which is to be housed, restored and ultimately revitalised by the Wai-te-Ata press.
The Wellington news section of the NZCFS website (www.nzchinasociety.org.nz), reports on the talk, described as ‘fascinating’, given to their August meeting by Carl Worker who was Ambassador to China from 2009 to 2015. It is under the heading An Insight into Chinese Politics.
The Christchurch Branch newsletter reports on the laying of a foundation stone for the new Ross Chinese Miners Memorial Reserve. There were more than 200 present for the unveiling and more than $100,000 has been raised towards developing the reserve.
The Christchurch Branch newsletter also has a report that a legendary flood related to the beginnings of Chinese civilisation, may be historical after all. Researchers have found geological evidence of a huge flood of the Yellow River about 4,000 years ago. Legend has it that an emperor called Yu the Great succeeded in controlling a huge flood, but there are no records from that early time in Chinese history.
This Month’s Poetry from Rewi Alley
In the lead-up to the 90-60-30 year Rewi Alley anniversaries there are frequent postings on the NZCFS website regarding Rewi’s life and legacy. There are many biographies available and Rewi himself wrote a range of autobiographical books and poetry in which he shares his observations and philosophy. For a chronology of his life, go to a new posting on the NZCFS website: nzchinasociety.org.nz/27317/a-chronology-of-rewi-alleys-life/
In Nelson, we have been referring to Rewi’s poetry to get a sense of the energy and spirit that drove him to devote 70 years to the people of China. This is the last section of Art for the Working People, written in Peitaiho, Hopai, 3 August, 1975.
The first sections of the poem refer to those who workers who create art with sweat and farm tools, by planting and harvesting, by building aquaducts, sturdy bridges, railways through the wild mountains, oil derricks in the desert, terraced fields, ships in the slipways. . . . .
“. . . . . Social realism paints many a picture, each one made more fresh because of people working together creatively. . . . . “
Today I saw a schoolboy
Sitting by the shores of Pohai Bay
painting a child who stood on the prow
of a fishing boat, the wind blowing
back her hair from her face, caressing
her sturdy legs set firmly apart; all
with the afternoon sun glinting on
the water beyond. And the fishermen
and small fry who gathered around the painter
to watch, saw that he had caught
the spirit of the scene, and laughed
in appreciation. Art of the people,
by the people, in the service of the people, art
come into its own.
August Meeting: The Hidden Hong Kong Tour – When Barbara and Roy Markland were teaching in Hong Kong, they got to know many places which are not covered by the usual tourist ventures. They have developed a tour itinerary which takes their friends and relations to these sites, using public transport by ferry, bus and train.
Last year June and Bryce Wild joined the Marklands for one such tour, and this year Barbara and Roy have taken grandchildren (April) and the grandchildren’s parents (October) to enjoy the tour. A huge crowd, more than 50, packed out Hearing House to enjoy the presentation prepared by June and recounted alternately by Barbara, Roy and Bryce. It was a comprehensive account which was fascinating and enjoyable for those who had been to Hong Kong, were planning trips, or even for those who were not doing either. For those returning from other parts of the globe, this certainly could put a fresh look into the Hong Kong stopover. In future, a few days exploring the ‘Hidden Hong Kong’ with the Markland itinerary could be a great finale to your tour of China or Europe.
Lisa Chandler, Artist – Members may remember Lisa’s exhibition of works she prepared during her residency in Beijing. The exhibition in the Salt Gallery, Rutherford Street was well received during Nelson’s China Week last September. She has since been on a residency in Leipzig, Germany, and her exhibition SwischenGestern und Morgen opens at McKee Gallery (in The Suter Te Ara o Whakatu) from October 26 to November 13.
Lisa has developed further her unique technique of translating the photographs she takes of the changing street scenes into large scale paintings.
NZCFS Explore China: The Northwest/Silk Road Tour October 2017 – The itinerary for this tour is available, and looks very tempting. As well as visiting Kashgar, about as far west as you can go in China, it skirts the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert to go to Hotan (or Hetian), before crossing the desert on the way to Turpan. Few travel itineraries currently include the southern part of the old Silk Road routes and the oasis towns in the desert, so this would be rather special. After reaching Turpan, the itinerary then includes the more familiar northern Silk Road destinations of Urumqi and Dunhuang as well as Zhangye, Shandan and Lanzhou.
The itinerary is on the website at: nzcfs-explore-china-the-northwestsilk-road-tour-october-2017.
The full pdf version of this newsletter is available here.