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Date and Time: Wednesday 24th April, 7.30 – 9.30pm

Venue: ‘Parents’ Place’, 87 Boundary Road

Title: The 2012 China ‘Birthday’ Tour – History, Celebrations and Environment

Presenters: Jenevere Foreman, Miles Barker


In August-September 2012 fifteen New Zealand-China Friendship Society (NZCFS) members journeyed by plane, train and bus across China from Kashi, Xinjiang province, in the north-west, through Gansu, Shaanxi and Hebei provinces to Beijing. The tour was a celebration of four historic „birthdays.: the 40th anniversary of NZ-China diplomatic relations (1972), the 60th anniversary of the founding of the first branch of the NZCFS (1952), the 70th anniversary of the Shandan Bailie School (1942), and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Rewi Alley (1897). Jenevere describes the celebrations, including official receptions at the Shandan Bailie School and at the Chinese People.s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (YOUXIE) in Beijing; meeting the current Kathleen Hall scholars in Lanzhou; and an intensely moving visit to Songjiazhuang, the Kathleen Hall village. Miles.s thoughts on visits to three agricultural co-operatives, combined with his observations along the whole route, prompt him to speculate about future environmental outcomes in China at large. Please contact a Committee member if you would like a lift or to offer a lift to others to any of these events

He Ming Qing (Kathleen Hall) memorial scholarschip Fundraising Dinner

You are invited to attend our annual dinner to raise funds for the Kathleen Hall Scholarship.kathleen hall

Venue: Canton Hong Kong Restaurant 32 Alexandra Street Hamilton

Sunday 5th May. Meet at 6.30pm Welcome and dinner from 7pm.

Kathleen Hall was a New Zealand nurse who supported the Chinese during the difficult years of the Japanese invasion and is remembered by this scholarship which currently trains three Chinese nurses from the poor rural areas of China.

Further details of Kathleen hall are in our society website….Click Here…. Cost is $25 per head. Numbers to Meryl – 843-5260 and money to Diane at 61 Sunnyhills Avenue Hamilton 3206 by Wednesday 1st May. Please bring extra money for raffle tickets. Great prizes!!

NZCFS National Conference 2013

2012-Conference-Delegation Will be held this year at the University of Canterbury in Lecture Theatre C1 access off Clyde Road onto Arts Road, Christchurch. The theme this year is “Chinese Culture”. All NZCFS members are invited and welcome to attend. Accommodation in Christchurch is limited, so if you are intending to attend the Conference you need to book accommodation as soon as possible. Up to date Conference details are on NZCFS web site Registration form and other information is a also available from Branch secretary Ian Howat [email protected] . At this stage 5 Hamilton members are already booked to attend the Conference.

NZCFS Projects, Nature, Culture, History, China Tour October 2013.Lijiang-River-Guilin

 21 days in China – travel from Yan.an, Shaanxi in the north to Guilin, Guangxi in the south. Hukou Pubu the “boiling kettle” waterfall on the Yellow River, Huashan Lotus Flower Peak, nature parks and reserves, Li river, Buddhist cliff carvings Dazu Chongqing, 4 days on the road from Guizhou to Guangxi through diverse ethnic communities, “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” show on water at Yangshuo, diverse food experiences, pre 1949 revolutionary site at Yan.an, Shaanxi, and Zunyi, Guizhou, Missionary Museum Chengdu, Old Ming Town of Qingyan, Guiyang ….Read More….



Branch Annual Picnic, Sunday 24 March.

farm visit 015Held this year on the Adams Dairy farm near Gordonton. This is a large dairy farm of over 2000 hectares and milking about 800 Friesian cows split into 3 herds – at this stage, because of the drought, one of the herds is down to one milking a day. The three herds are all milked through the one rotary cowshed – one herd ofarm visit 2561n the feeding lot, one herd in the resting paddock and one herd in the shed. We had perfect weather for the picnic and enjoyed a great day with a wonderful pot luck lunch. Over 70 people attended this year, branch members and friends from Chinese Golden Age Society, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Chinese Students Association of Waikato, Waikato Chinese Association. We welcomed our official guests Consul General Qingbao NIU, Education Consul James HU, and Culture Consul Yanping LONG. The Consul General presented a beautiful mounted hand

embroidered tapestry of two pandas to our hosts Greg and Sharon Adams.


 farm visit 009farm visit 017farm visit 2523

  Hon. Warren Freer, 27 December 1920 – 29 March 2013Warren Freer

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark has paid tribute to Warren Freer, who died last week, aged 92, for his pioneering work in contact with China. “When you look back at the 50s and Warren.s determination to open a window on China for New Zealand, this was pioneering and quite brave work and led to him being smeared quite a lot all his life as being pro-communist. He could see the potential of China a long time before anybody else did.”

Warren Freer represented the Mount Albert electorate from 1947 to 1981, when he retired. He was only 26 when he entered Parliament in a by-election and he held the seat for 34 years. In 1955 he was the first Western politician to visit China and recently he gifted Auckland branch of NZCFS his personal journals of his visits in 1955 and 1957….Read More ….also National Notebook March/April 2013


Sites of Spring in China.


Spring flowers are in bloom across the country, and as fans flock to admire the season’s color, it sometimes seems as though China has been transformed into a huge horticultural park. Shanghai Daily reporter Lu Feiran has selected some destinations around the country where you can admire peach, cherry, pear, oilseed rape and azaleas in full bloom, at everywhere from city parks to remote mountains.

Peach blossom Originally found in northern and central China, peach trees now grow throughout the country’s temperate zone. Its blossom is white or pink and is used as a herbal treatment for moisturizing the skin. Peach trees blossom around March and April.

Shanghai  The Nanhui area in Pudong New Area is one of the best sites to view peach blossoms in Shanghai. Every spring a peach blossom festival is held in the area, which has five grand peach orchards. This year, the festival runs until the end of April. The vast sea of pink blossom is a visual feast that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Nanhui. In addition to admiring beautiful peach blossom, visitors can take part in folk games and other activities.

NB. This is an extensive article covering many famous scenic sites in China. If you are interested in reading further, Travel tips: Sites of spring in China -People’s Daily Online


Hamilton Branch Office holders:

Co-Presidents: Jenevere Foreman and Miao FAN 

 Vice Presidents: Peter Vautier and Harry van den Berg                                                                                                                      

 Honorary Vice President: St

Secretary:  Ian Howat

 Treasurer: Diane Lanting,

 Committee: Miles Barker, Helen WANG, Shihou PAN


Romance, ghosts and sport. Qingming FestivalTomb-Sweeping Day

The Qingming Festival is traditionally a time for courtship, making sure the spirits are content and enjoying picnics and other outdoor activities with the coming of the better weather, report Cang Wei and Song Wenwei in Nanjing. Many people think that Tomb- Sweeping Day, or the Qingming Festival, is for Chinese people to offer remembrances to their ancestors, but in ancient times, it was also a time for people to enjoy the arrival of spring and pray for love. During the Qingming Festival, young women often tied a red string around the middle finger of their right hand to show they were single and to express their hope for a husband, while the educated young men would write poems on kites and then cut the string.”If a woman who picked up a kite was touched by the poems, they might find the man and start a romantic relationship,” said Shen Ming, who has been researching folk customs in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, for more than 30 years.Even today, cutting the strings attached to flying kites means to get rid of diseases and bad luck.

QIng_Ming_Jie_Kite“Many ancient people wrote on the kites the names of all the diseases they knew, and then they cut the strings and let the kites fly away with all their worries,” said Shen, who has collected more than 1,000 items associated with the folk customs of the Qingming Festival, including postcards, matchboxes and telephone cards showing scenes of young women chasing kites and other traditions associated with the festival.

Just like today, people also liked to fly kites with lights at night. They would fasten strings of tiny, different colored lanterns on the kites that would twinkle like little stars. Another tradition for the Qingming Festival, one which stretches back more than 1,000 years, is wearing a garland made of willow twigs. People also hung twigs of willow under their roofs and windows to prevent ghosts and evil spirits from entering the house, as it is one of the country’s three ghost festivals, a time of year when it was believed ghosts walked the earth. The other two are July 15 and Oct 1 of the lunar Chinese calendar. Buddhism also contributes to the prevalence of the tradition, as the Goddess of Mercy, or Guanyin, is usually depicted holding a willow twig. Willow trees were also called guibumu, which literally means “the tree which makes ghosts afraid”, in ancient China.The

willow twigs were also used to predict the weather. If the twigs remained green, it meant there would be rain, but there would be no rain if they dried out and shriveled up. “When I was young, many people broke off willow twigs and tied them to the baskets in front of their bicycles after sweeping their ancestors’ tombs,” said Shen, who is 72 years old. “That scene is still vivid in my memory, though most people nowadays no longer do that.”

guanyinIn China, presenting a twig of willow to another person is also a way of expressing that you want them to stay. The word for willow is liu in mandarin, the same as the word for stay, although they are pronounced with different tones.South of the Yangtze River, babies born on Tomb Sweeping Day were considered to be the cleverest, as Qingming literally means clear and bright in Chinese, so the babies born on the day were considered to be gifted with intelligence. Families with small kids would usually ask their neighbors for food during the Qingming Festival, as it was believed this would bring health and good luck to the kids.h they would only eat cold food as a way of showing their respect for the dead. One of China’s most renowned paintings Along the River During Qingming Festival by Zhang Zeduan of the Northern Song Dynasty (AD960-1127) depicts people enjoying a day out along the river at Bianliang, then the ancient capital city. People also participated in various sports, including shooting the willow, playing cuju and cockfights. Shooting the willow was first invented to improve archery skills. According to material from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), people first put pigeons into gourds before tying them on top of a willow tree. Several people then shot the gourds with bows and arrows, which would free the pigeons inside when they fell onto the ground. The winner was the one whose pigeon flew the highest on its release.

cujuCuju, is an ancient sport with a history of 2,300 years, which was originally used to train warriors. The character cu refers to kicking with feet, while ju means a leather ball filled with feathers. Cuju was especially popular during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279). One of China’s most famous literary masterpieces, The Water Margin, contains descriptions of the nobles, including the emperor, playing cuju together. And during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties (1271-1911) the Qingming Festival was also known as the swinging festival, as it was a popular pastime at this time of year because of the pleasant weather and swinging competitions were held across the country. The one who swung the highest and with the most beautiful and difficult movements would win the competition.




Music Review :Xiao MA and Yanjia HUANG featured in a lunchtime recital at the Dr John Gallagher Concert Chamber at the University of Waikato on 13 March 2013. Xiao MA, China.s first countertenor, and accompanying pianist Yanjia HUANG Xiao MA Xiao-mapresented a stunning concert of opera arias, European art songs, and Chinese art and folk songs. Xiao MA is currently Assoc Professor, Vocal Department, Music College of Guizhou Normal University. Yanjia HUANG is currently a lecturer at the Music College of Guizhou Normal University and is chief conductor of the College Choir and Chamber Orchestra.

Xiao MA.s voice is quite remarkable and it was a great shame that there were some empty seats left in the chamber. You are all urged to hear this incredible singer if you get another chance Xiao Ma sings with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra . Ian



Library: Ian has several books and DVDs available for loan to members.

“You Banfa!” by Rewi Alley –

“Rewi Alley – an autobiography”. Published 1997

“At 90: Memoirs of my China Years” – Rewi Alley, published 1986

“Rewi – the story of Rewi Alley” by Tom Newnham, published in 1997.

“Rewi Alley – from Canterbury to China” by Philippa Reynolds published in 1997.

“New Zealand Women in China” by Tom Newnham

“Kathleen Hall – Kiwi Heroine in China” by Tom Newnham

“Kiwi Dragon – The Chinese in Aotearoa New Zealand – History, Culture, Hope” by Bill Willmott published 2009.

By honouring the past we find the future – NZCFS 60th Anniversary. In Chinese and English.

China Through the Ages – from Confucius to Deng (2 volumes) published 2009.

The Political History of China, 1840-1928 by Li Chien-nung published 1956.

DVDs – (kindly provided by the Consulate-General)

China’s Traditional Kunqu Opera – video, book (English and Chinese), DVD, CD-ROM

Perhaps Love – movie – language options

Cell phone – movie – language options

The silent holy stones (Tibet) – movie – language options

2 becomes 1 – movie – language options

“Light Rail” 95 minutes Feature Film of a couple facing the stresses and pressures of modern life. Language options.

Laopsang’s world (Tibet) – documentary – language options

One day in the Yantze Delta – documentary – language options

An autobiography of a WW2 orphan – documentary – language options

My dad, my mom (rural Shandong) documentary – language options

Buddhist legacy in Qingzhou (Longxing Temple, Shandong) – documentary – language options

“One Thousand Years of Shaolin Temple” 36 minute documentary – language options.

“Remembrance of Things Past” 25 minute documentary on Jewish migrant refugees in the 1930’s and 40’s who settled in Tianjin. Language options.

“Merchants on the Ancient Silk Road” 26 minute documentary on the lifestyle and expectations of a contemporary Uygur(ethnic) merchant. Language options.

“Ancient Folk Buildings in Huizhou” 30 minute documentary on ancient classical architecture in southern Anhui Province. Language options.

“Harmony in a Dong Ethnic Group Village” 25 minute documentary – the village of Tang’an in southwestern Guizhou Province is regarded as “a good example of human’s living in harmony with nature”. Language options.

“The Dancing Career of a Mute Girl” 25 minute documentary on a disabled girl from Zhenjiang. Language options.

“Dancing with the Cranes” 25 minutes on the breeding programme on the red-crowned crane in the Yancheng Wetland Nature Reserve in Jiangsu Province. Language options.

“Colours of Mount Tianshan” 10 minute documentary on this scenic wonderland in Xinjiang. Language options.

“Su Embroidery” 15 minute documentary on the famous Suzhou silk embroidery. Language options.

“A Chinese Girl” 25 minutes documentary on a Kenyan girl, (descendant of Chinese landed there in the 1500’s from one of the Zheng He voyages) who was given a scholarship to study in Nanjing at the

University of Traditional Chinese Medicine as part of the celebration of the 600th anniversary of Zheng He’s voyages abroad. Language options


Sweet Chicken Wings with Oyster Sauce.

1 pound of chicken wings,friedchicken4_s

3 tablespoons of oyster sauce,

3 tablespoons of (light) soy sauce,

½ pint chicken stock,

1 teaspoon brown sugar,

1 ounce of shredded ginger, pinch of black pepper.

Wash and dry wings. Put in pan with cold water to cover, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, and drain.

Put wings back into clean pan, add oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock and sugar.

Bring gently to boil, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with ginger (and finely chopped spring onion?) and serve, Yum!

Why the Imperial measurements? This recipe is from our Hamilton Branch NZCSF November 1981 Newsletter!