On 11th February 2017 MBL successfully held its annual Chinese Spring Festival celebration at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London. The event attracted more than seven thousand visitors from a range of European countries to experience all that Chinese culture has to offer and join in the new year festivities. All who participated, no matter their background, fully enjoyed what the event had to offer from Chinese painting and storytelling to paper-folding and crafting.
All the volunteers
Our volunteers worked tirelessly to deliver fun and imaginative workshops celebrating Chinese culture to our guests. At the painting stand Rui Yun 小夕 delivered a masterclass in the styles and patterns attributed to Chinese art. Her teaching, along with the invaluable assistance of others such as Julie and Eric Cai, was so good that all of the children present left with beautifully drawn and coloured Beijing Opera masks! Particularly popular were the dazzling costumes on display at the storytelling workshop which represented all the different peoples who make up China. All who watched were given the chance to wear these costumes and transform themselves into elegant and beautiful princesses or strong and brave Kung Fu warriors straight out of an ancient Chinese storybook. This special occasion would no doubt have given many parents some fantastic photographs to show friends and family. Finally, Jing Yi 静怡 led a wonderful class in paper-folding and crafting. Sat along two long tables, groups of children and adults alike followed her instructions and before too long were producing Chinese lanterns representing the new year celebration and many more fantastic creations. The class proved such a success that by the end most were reluctant to leave!
In addition to the visual highlights visitors were also treated to some great musical performances. Pan Tong, Ting Ting and friends, all of whom represent the teenagers of MBL, played beautiful compositions on the guzheng and keyboard drawing our audience to the sounds of traditional China. Master Huang Xu followed this by introducing our guests to the Chinese tea ceremony and its value in Chinese society. Last, but by no means least, Yoyo and Ping performed their Kung Fu and Fan Dance respectively bringing a close to a highly memorable day of festivities and celebration.
Guzheng performer:Tong Pan
Tea ceremony:Xun Huang
Taichi performer:Ping Ling
Orzu Arts Theatre Group was invited to be part of the main show and they lived up to every expectation. A very interesting combination of singing and dancing in colourful costumes and upbeat music was staged: the singing and dancing are from Chinese ethnic areas as well as China’s bordering countries through the Silk Road: Tibet, Turkmenistan, Uzbek, Kazakh.
A variety of traditional and popular acts such as Guzheng, Kung Fu, Tai Chi were also performed by our own talented volunteers, Linping, Youyou, Tingting and Tongtong. A tea ceremony was also provided by a volunteer’s company Capacitea, they also kindly donated all their proceeds to MBL at the end of the event. Story telling took place in a separate area, our volunteer Dingding applied her education study to great use. The main show was capably managed by our colleague at MOC Anne and Linping, our own volunteer team leader.
The MBL V&A Museum of Childhood was a resounding success. The number of visitors is more than 2600 on the 11th Feburary.As one of our supporters put it, ‘I had a lovely time at the V&A. It was the first time we worked together and there will certainly be a lot room for us to improve. We hope to be able to cooperate more with MBL for future events.’ It was a reflection of the ever-increasing dedication and enthusiasm volunteers’ display on a continual basis. Without our kind volunteers and sponsors offering their time and effort, this event would never have been able to succeed. Thus, MBL sends our great thanks to all our sponsors, volunteers and trustees for devoting your time and energy. We couldn’t have done it without you!
Heartfelt thanks to all volunteers:Yintong,Ping Ling,Julie,Zhigang Pan,Zhihao Chen,Heling,Cai,Yu Yang,Ziyang Zhang,Jingyi Chen,Pingting Lin, Weiwen Wang,Wenjun Ding,Ruiyun He,Yutong Jin,Wenwen Xie,Xun Huang.