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Manawatu Branch Newsletter February 2015


Next Meeting Friday 20th February

At 6 pm at Anne Henderson’s, 20 Collingwood St. Palmerston North

You are invited to help us celebrate 


The Year of the Sheep/Goat

  with a :-

A Pot-Luck Dinner

Is it the year of the sheep or the year of the goat?  In many parts of China it is hard to tell the difference between these animals. One way to do so is to offer the animal a piece of newspaper. If it eats it then it is likely to be a goat !

The counting system of the Yin-Yang calendar consists of 5 elements and 12 animals. The five elements are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth and the twelve animals are Rat, Cow, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig.

The year of 2015 is a wooden sheep but because wood (tree) is connected to the colour of green, then, 2015 is the Year of Green Wooden Sheep (Sorry,  I could only find the red one above). 

At Our Last Meeting

We showed the historic NZCFS re-mastered video “Inside Red China” made by the pioneer New Zealand film makers Rudell and Ramai Hayward in 1952. It shows many historic scenes including the presentation of a maori cloak to Mao Zedong by Ramai and also contains some recently added comments by Dr Alisatair Shaw and John MacKinnon. If you wish to borrow the video contact the Branch President.

Books for Bazhong

Branch member Rosy Look and Jan McLeod (Whanganui) have completed their current project “Literacy the Kiwi Way” in Bazhong, Sichuan. The project was funded by the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund and is in line with Rewi’s educational philosophy of “learn by doing”. It contrasts with the highly competitive and conservative teaching methods that are still the core of China’s mainstream education system. However, with the development of the internet and its easy access to information that is now available, students and teachers are now beginning to question the value of a system which puts so much emphasis on rote learning and memorisation and not enough on exploration and understanding. Here is hoping that this initiative will grow to become part of China’s much needed education reforms.

New Zealand Teacher in Shandan  

The current New Zealand teacher at the Shandan Baillie School is Jane Furket from Nelson.   https://nzchinasociety.org.nz/18837/a-day-in-the-life-of-sbs-november-2014/. Jane is due to finish her term at Shandan in a few months. The position will then be open for other young New Zealanders keen to teach English in Rewi Alley’s old stamping ground in this fascinating part of Northwest China.

Concert by the Jasmine Chinese Classical Orchestra  

Towards the end of last year the Globe Theatre in Palmerston North was booked out for an excellent concert organised by the Manawatu Chinese Community Trust. A variety both modern and traditional musical compositions were performed by these accomplished musicians dressed in traditional dress. Let’s hope we could have the same again this year.

Happy Chinese New Year,     Xin nian Kuai le

Maurice Alley

February 2015