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Christchurch Branch Newsletter – September 2014

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Please Note: There will be no monthly meeting in September as we will have China National Day Banquet on Wednesday 1 October!

Next Event – 1st October 2014

China National Day Banquet on Wednesday 1 October!

As usual, proceeds from the banquet will go toward the He Mingqing Nursing Scholarship programme in China, which for several years has supported a number of nursing students from rural areas in China to complete their nursing training. Many of these students are already making great contributions to rural Chinese communities’ healthcare. 

 

We have decided that rather than having a raffle this year at the banquet we will have a collection for the Yunnan Earthquake Appeal (an article about which appeared in our August newsletter), so please give what you would spend on raffle tickets to this worthy cause. Please see the banquet booking form at the end of this newsletter. Make up a group, come along and have a wonderful evening of food and friendship!

 

Moon Festival

The Chinese Moon Festival is on the 15th of the 8th lunar month. Just like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West, the Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events for the Chinese. The Moon Festival is also an occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to watch the full moon, eat moon cakes, and sing moon poems. With the full moon, the legend, the family and the poems, you can’t help thinking that this is really a perfect world. That is why the Chinese are so fond of the Moon Festival. Eating moon cakes is a symbol of the full moon “Reunion”. If a young person cannot be home for the festival, parents should carefully save their moon cake for when they return, so moon cakes are called “reunion cake”. Even for a couple who can’t be together, they can still enjoy the night by watching the moon at the same time so it seems that they are together at that hour. A great amount of poetry has been devoted to this romantic festival.

月饼,原本是祭月时的一种供品,拜月结束后,全家人围坐一起,共享祭品,同赏明月。吃月饼时,要将象征圆月的“大团圆”月饼按人切块,每人一份。对没有回来的家里人,家长要把属于他的一份月饼认真保管起来,待他们回来时品尝,故月饼又称“团圆饼”。后来人们逐渐把中秋赏月与品尝月饼结合在一起,寓意家人团圆的象征。每逢中秋,皓月当空,合家团圆,品饼赏月,其乐融融。

 

Annual Subscriptions were due 30 June

If you have not paid yet, please do so as soon as possible. Payment details are in the June newsletter.

 

Welcome for New Consul-General Mr Jin Zhijian

image001 (1)The local Chinese associations held a very successful and happy welcome banquet recently for new Consul-General Mr Jin Zhijian, who replaces Mme Tan Xiutian, and his wife Mrs He Linyun. I was honoured to be invited to the function. Branch president Chris Goodwin was overseas at the time. Cr Jimmy Chen represented the mayor.image001

 

I am happy to report Mr Jin and his lovely wife are an absolute delight; very friendly and outgoing. Formalities were quickly relaxed and Mr Jin soon had everyone laughing. On behalf of the society, I warmly welcomed Mr Jin and Mrs He, and assured him of our society’s strong support and cooperation. We look forward to welcoming them to be involved in our activities, and hopefully of course our 1 October China National Day banquet.

Dave Adamson

Photos courtesy of Panda Wong, Photojournalist

 

Another Visitor from Gansu

20140503_123952_5I’m sure you’ll remember when last year our Christchurch China Sister Cities committee brought Becky from Gansu to visit us for several months? Some of you had the joy of home hosting her, so will know how delightful she was. This year the committee has done it again – this time it is Lin Lijun!! Like Becky, Lijun works for the Gansu Foreign Affairs Office. She arrived in early July and will be here about four months.  During that time she is attending the CPIT to improve her English skills, as well as time working with the Christchurch City Council Civic & International Relations team. This is part of an annual programme our Christchurch China Sister Cities committee operates to help improve the English of the people it deals with in the Gansu Foreign Affairs Office. This adds value to both ends of the relationship, which came about at the direct request of Rewi Alley. Lijun is a wonderful young woman, and seems to have completely fallen in love with Christchurch and her experiences here. Each of her home hosts is making sure she is exposed to as many Kiwi experiences as possible; she will certainly go home with her head spinning from new images. Those of you who were at our August branch meeting will have already met her. Welcome Lijun!!

 

Christchurch City Libraries Chinese eBooks

Christchurch City Libraries now has Chinese eBooks on its OverDrive service. OverDrive http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Databases/Overdrive/About/ is a free downloadable eBook and eAudiobook platform for library members.

At the moment they only have about 50 titles available, but hope to increase this in time.

They also have Chinese language print books and magazines at Fendalton Library, Papanui Library, Upper Riccarton Library and Peterborough Library.

http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/Collections/World-Languages/

 

Home Hosting Opportunity

Last year our branch applied to the society’s Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund (RAFE) for funding to facilitate  “An exchange of a student or a teacher from each of Lanzhou City University and Canterbury University or the Christchurch Polytechnic for at least a semester to enhance their language studies, further study of Rewi Alley’s legacy in each city and create a stronger link between the Society and Lanzhou City University”.

The RAFE Fund was set up following the very generous donation to our society in 2012 of 1 million RMB by the China Oceania Friendship Association (COFA) to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the society, with the aim “… to consolidate and deepen friendship between the peoples of China and New Zealand, and push forward bilateral friendly exchanges and cooperation”.

 

The funding application was successful, and we are delighted to announce Lanzhou
City University teacher Mr Bao Zhiming will arrive here later this month. He will be in the city for 18 weeks, during which time he will attend CPIT for about 14 weeks, and will do a number of activities like visiting schools etc.

 

We are currently looking for branch members who would like to home host Mr Bao during his time in the city. The idea would be for it to be in segments of about four weeks, but of course that’s open to negotiation. Eric and Judy Livingstone have kindly offered to host him for a start. If possible we would like it to be with Kiwi families, so that he can improve his English. Lanzhou City University advises Mr. Bao’s English is good, he is an English teacher, … he is a quiet person from my point of view, he is a friendly person”. His English level seems to be pretty good, and the expectation would be for home hosts to feed and water him, show him the sights etc.  A payment of $210 per week would be made to those doing the hosting and $100 a week will be given to Mr Bao for his out of pocket expenses like bus fares etc.  

 

So then, if you would like to have the pleasure of hosting Mr Bao for a few weeks, which would help him improve his English, and give you and your family a great cultural experience, can you please contact me.

Dave Adamson   [email protected] 022 1283215    389 137

 

Food for thought

Have a look at http://www.wimp.com/ghostcities/

 

 

Some Interesting Points to Ponder

  • Right now China is building a city larger than Manhattan just outside Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
  • When you total up all imports and exports, China is now the number one trading nation on the planet.
  • China has more foreign currency reserves than anyone else on the planet.
  • China has the largest new car market in the world.
  • China is the number one gold producer in the world.
  • 85% of all artificial Christmas trees the world over are made in China …
  • China is now in aggregate the leading manufacturer of goods in the world.
  • China uses more cement than the rest of the world combined.
  • China is the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.
  • China produces more than 90 percent of the global supply of rare earth elements.
  • China is the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of any national defense system.
  • In published scientific research articles China is expected to become number one in the world very shortly.

 

Book Lovers and Rewi Alley Admireers Please Note

Quilters Bookshop in Wellington, 04 472 2767 [email protected] have on offer, as one lot, 27 publications by or about Rewi Alley for $900. They are too numerous to detail here, but one or two choice details are as follows:

  • Stories out of China. By Rewi Alley. Peking, New World Press, 1958.164 pages, wrappers. Signed on title page.
  • Booklet, probably produced for presentation. 12 pages of photoviews “snapshots taken around China, some in the winter of 1962, others in the spring and summer of 1963.” Signed.
  • YoBanfa ! (Wehave a way !) .By Rewi Alley.  Edited by Shirley Barton. Foreword by Joseph Needham, F.R.S.. Shanghai, China Monthly Review, 1952. (12), 196 pages. Age toning, spine reinforced with cellotape. Author photo removed from lower wrapper and taped to verso of title page with wrapper lovingly repaired. Inscribed “Shirley (Editor) with greetings and love, signed Rewi Alley, and in Chinese, Peking 7/10/52.”. So, with some faults, a great association copy.
  • ………………………………………..another copy, similar condition. Inscribed on blank “J. Strachan of Rangiora, greetings from one schoolmaster to another, Rewi Alley, Peking 7-10-52”.

Sandan, an adventure in creative education, with an introduction by H. Winston Rhodes. Printed at the Caxton Press, 1959. 191 pages, plates, hardback in dustwrapper. Prospectus / order form loosely enclosed. Inscribed on blank ” J. B. Strachan, for your criticism, and with best wishes, Rewi Alley, Christchurch, 11. 2. 60″.

 

Wow, what a bridge!

The new Aizhai Bridge in Hunan Province is 336 m high and has a 1,176 m span, making it the world’s longest and highest suspension bridge. Construction took five years, and was completed in late 2013. Connecting two traffic tunnels in the mountains, it cuts the time needed to traverse the canyon from 30 minutes to one minute.

Note that this man is 336m above the ground and has no safety line as he sweeps the dirt off this 21st century engineering marvel with a broom that was designed centuries ago. Blasting and coating this steel superstructure in a couple of decades will be an interesting project.

Drivers take in views of the Dehang Canyon people and traffic during the opening ceremony. Vehicles travel along a two-way, four-lane motorway and pedestrians walk along a special walkway under the road.

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