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Hawke’s Bay October 2013 Newsletter


NEXT MEETING: All welcome

Awhina Tamarapa (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Pikiao) is curator, Māori at Te Papa. She holds a Bachelor of Māori Laws and Philosophy from Te Wānanga o Raukawa, Otaki, and a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University, Wellington, where she majored in Anthropology. She has worked in museums for more than 20 years, including as concept developer and collection manager at Te Papa. Picture3

Awhina will talk about the Chairman Mao Māori feather cloak, its connection to the NZCFS and the significance of the cloak as a symbol of friendship between China and NZ today. She’ll also talk about Te Papa’s involvement since last year with the National Museum of China (NMC), the sharing of information and proud display at the NMC, and the successful bid to borrow the cloak for research and display at Te Papa from June to October. It is also an opportunity to talk about her experience at the National Museum of China as part of a staff exchange, and to acknowledge the partnership of the NZCFS in enabling hugely important projects to happen.


Date:      Friday 1st November

Time:      7.30pm

Where:  Hastings District    Council  Chambers, Lyndon Rd.


Please diary the following Branch monthly meeting

6th December:  This will be our last meeting of the year and a we will have a social evening   at the Hastings Council Chambers.

Last Meeting: China National Day

Our Hawke’s Bay members marked China’s national Day with a banquet at the Kung Fu Kitchen in Napier. Thanks to Janet Kee for ordering such delicious dishes.

Wanted English Teacher in Nanning

Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi Province, is not only the political, economic and cultural center of the province, but also plays an important role in the economic development of southwest China. Nanning borders Vietnam, is neighbor to Guangzhou, close to Hong Kong and Macau, faces Southeast Asia and is the centre for China-ASEAN relations.

The Guangxi Economical Management Cadre College (GEMCC) is looking for a native English teacher, with a degree but it is not necessary to have teaching qualifications.  For further information, please contact Hawke’s Bay Branch.



China Book review by Matthew Griffiths

Across Many Mountains, Three Daughters of Tibet,  Picture2

Yangzom Brauen  (Harvill Secker 2010)

 The story of three generations of Tibetan women charts one variation of the history of Tibet over the last 90 years. The grandmother grows up in “old Tibet” in a traditional village, steeped in the spiritual life of Buddhism, and becomes a nun as a teenager.

The daughter grows up in the isolated village, then in 1959 finds herself joining her parents and others on a trek over the snow covered mountains to India. Her parents, disturbed by the Chinese looting of their local monastery and compulsory political meetings, and after hearing of the flight of the Dalai Lama to India, decided to leave and follow him into exile.

The arduous trip is just the start of their struggle as they become refugees in India, suffer the death of a younger sister from disease, move around to survive, and eventually find an opportunity for the daughter’s education and relative security. The girl grows up and meets a Swiss student studying in India who volunteers to help a Swiss charity for Tibetans. They eventually marry and move with the grandmother to Switzerland.

The granddaughter, born in Switzerland, grows up part Western along with a strong Tibetan side, one who can ‘commute between cultures,’ and becomes active in the Free Tibet movement in Switzerland, Germany and as far away as Moscow and Los Angeles.

Yangzon Brauen’s story of her family provides an insight into the experience of three very different generations of Tibetan people, and their differing relationships with their country. Throughout, the grandmother’s faith and adaptability allow her to survive and inspire her family, all the while craving an opportunity to visit Tibet and reunite with her family. The daughter would love to return to build a new Tibet, while the granddaughter’s aim is to prevent the culture, traditions and history of Tibet from being forgotten.

It’s a fascinating story, which brings a detailed and human look at the changes in Tibet over the past century and the lives of those affected.

Across Many Mountains is available from the Hastings, Havelock North, Flaxmere, Napier and Taradale Public Libraries.

[Matthew Griffiths is a long time member of the NZ China Friendship Society. He and his Chinese-born wife Deborah have two bilingual children. They lived in China from 2008 to 2010 and now live in Queensland.  Matthew travelled to central Tibet in 2010 and the eastern Tibetan regions of Amdo and Kham (in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces) in 2013.]