Mr FENG JiCai (冯骥才): “The Plight of China’s Cultural Heritage and Its Solutions”

Charity Event (Public lecture series) organized by The Mothers’ Bridge of Love


Mr. FENG JiCai, a renowned Chinese writer, gave public lectures at University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), University of Oxford and University of Bath successively from 7 to 14 of this April. Titled “the Plight of China’s Cultural Heritage and its Solutions”, his presentations focused on the status quo, challenges, solutions and progresses achieved in the preservation of China’s cultural heritage.

This series of public lectures was initiated by The Mothers’ Bridge of Love (MBL) and jointly hosted by LSE China Development Society, Chinese Students and Scholars Association in Cambridge and Oxford and the MA Interpreting and Translating Programme of University of Bath, aiming at providing an opportunity for the Chinese students studying in the UK and the British Chinese to communicate with a giant of contemporary Chinese literature. The presentations received strong support from the four universities and many volunteers, as well as great enthusiasm from the audience. Students who attended these lectures said that they were overwhelmed and deeply impressed by Mr. Feng’s passion, concern and sense of responsibility toward China’s cultural heritage, which aroused their ardent love for the culture of their motherland and a sense of mission to pass it on to future generations.

In his lectures, Mr. Feng expressed his deep concerns toward the current situation of China’s intangible cultural heritage. He said that we spent 30 years only to turn more than 600 cities in China to look identical with almost complete obliteration of buildings with cultural or historical significance, which was a huge cultural tragedy. Within just a decade, the number of China’s villages has dropped from 3.6 million to 2.7 million. The disappearance of villages means the evaporation of their culture as well. Mr. Feng’s Tianjin-style humour also made the audience laugh when he said that 100 villages would be gone only after a night’s sleep. However, behind the laughter was heart-aching sadness.

Nonetheless, what’s gratifying to know is that in 2000, guided by Mr. Feng, China launched intangible cultural heritage preservation progamme that has already made great progress since then. The nation-wide cultural census made in recent years provided experts and scholars with a general picture of China’s folk customs and cultures. According to the statistics of the census, the total volume of intangible cultural heritages of the 56 ethnic groups in China surpasses 10,000 items. The number of folktales alone is an amazing 900 million, if counted in term of book volumes, there would be more than 5000 volumes.

Mr. Feng also underscored the role of the intellectuals, pointing out that they should shoulder their social responsibilities with dedication and contribute their share to the country.  “Money,” he said, “is a basic need rather than a life-long pursuit. Therefore, it shouldn’t become a country’s values.” We can’t only concentrate on the development of material civilization but neglect spiritual and cultural development. Cultural heritage is our soul and the very root of our nation, thus should be treasured and protected. The MBL volunteers had a deep understanding of Mr. Feng’s words. One of the volunteers said: “The families form the western world that adopted Chinese children are actively learning and exploring Chinese culture, seeking the cultural root for their adopted kids. As a Chinese, we are duty-bound to maintain our cultural root.”

In his communication with the audience, Mr.FENG JiCai expressed his appreciation about the scope and depth of their thoughts. He also had high expectations for Chinese students studying in the UK and the British Chinese, hoping that while taking in the British culture, they can spread the essence of Chinese culture, and build a bridge between the two cultures.


Reported by MBL (LI Jiang李江, HE BingQian何冰倩, and LI Xu李旭)

Translator: WU TianCheng (武天程)

Proofreader: JIANG Yu

Both form the University of Bath


MBL in Helsinki, Finland (17th-19th April 2013)

MBL and Xinran were invited by Finnish publisher Atena for the newly translated book in finnish “The Message from An Unknown Chinese Mother” and this book is especially for adoptive families with Chinese children.

Xinran & Xiaoli (from MBL London Head Office) visited a school called Meilahden ala-aste in Helsinki is. There are more than 600 students in this school, and around 200 of them are studying Chinese. Among those 200 students, half of them are either third generation of Chinese migrants or Chinese adoptees, and half of them are Finnish children. The photos showed here is about students studying during their Chinese class.

With a group of Chinese adoptees and school teachers in the Chinese classroom…


Exciting talking with schools teachers in the Chinese classroom during the break…


Chinese senses involved in their classroom…so lovely!

Continue reading →

MBL Charity Event – Mr FENG jiCai (冯骥才)’s Leture at Oxford Wed 10th April 2013

MBL Charity Event – Mr FENG jiCai (冯骥才)’s Leture at Oxford Wed 10th April 2013 (PDF in Chinese version and photos are submitted by OXCSSA)





MBL Season’s Greetings & New Year Newsletter 2013!

Dear MBL friends:

MBL London Head Office wishes you and your family a Happy New Year!

Here we would like to forward a New Year Message from MBL founder Xinran to you ALL:

Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Happy New Year!)

It’s very difficult for me to let 2012 pass since it was an unforgettable year for MBL and also has given me so many friends during work with MBL adoptive families, media talks, the worldwide book tours, and the universities’ lectures.

Great thanks to those Chinese adoptees and MBL families for sharing their stories with us and their trust to MBL!

Meanwhile, respects to MBL’s growing volunteer teams – London SOAS/LSE/King’s College/Queen Mary, Cambridge, Oxford, and Bath University, MBL Nanjing BaiXia Children Centre, and many newly joined volunteers from different places in China and around the world!

Without your help and support, MBL’s mission would be only in words on piece of paper! You ALL have made a wonderful MBL 2012 as history makers!

2013 is a little dragon year – can we call it “baby dragon year”? We all need some time to grow our ideas, passion and love! Looking forward to your continuous Love to our Chinese children! Please contact us if you would like to support MBL!


MBL in 2012
From London Head Office, guided by MBL Trustees Ching-He Huang, Jeremy Gordon and Toby Eady.

More MBL activities in 2012 can be found on MBL Newsletters on Facebook and 母爱桥每月简讯on MBL Weibo…both two pages were set up and managed by very few hands but with very hard and heartfelt work!

• For Adoptive Families, MBL volunteers have helped so many families to confirm their Adoption Documents and Family Roots Information! We didn’t realise that before — MBL could be everywhere for western adoptive families’ needs in China!
• For Disadvantaged Children in China, MBL supported 8 Children’s Libraries in Sichuan. It’s always wonderful to see beautiful and happy smiling on children’s faces!
• For MBL Volunteers, we provided opportunities for them to get involved in London Book Fair – China Year; Language support during the Olympics and MBL events for adoptive families with their beloved Chinese kids in different countries. They also got supported by MBL Workshop and Training sessions.


MBL in 2013

For Adoptive Families
Adoption Documents and Family Roots Information checking for MBL family members.
• An MBL new project called “Who Am I” (see post to follow), which is to benefit Chinese adoptees, western born Chinese, and even anyone who adopted other cultures apart from their original culture in their daily life.
• MBL & Xinran’s meeting Adoptees and MBL Families in different countries:

  • February – MBL might get a chance to see some Dutch families with adoptive Chinese children again during Xinran’s lectures at Tilburg University in Netherlands in the end of month.
  • March – CACH (Children Adopted from China) families in the UK 2013 Annual Reunion will receive gifts from MBL: Children Arts Workshops, Chinese Minority Fashion Exhibition and Xinran’s Q&A with CACH parents.
  • April – We hope snow-white Finland has been turned green by spring and bring some new friends to MBL when Xinran is on her book tour there.
  • May – Would be a very busy month for us! American adoptive families could have given MBL some ‘homework’ in advance, so Xinran & MBL are able to deliver our answers to adoptees and families during Xinran’s visiting between a few cities in USA.
  • August/September – MBL will go back to Norway to hug our little Chinese friends with their much loved Norwegian families during MBL’s Workshops there!
  • September/October – In Italy, we hope to meet up with some MBL families and Italian volunteers during MBL’s work with HOW (Hand Off Women) conference.

For Disadvantaged Children in China ( Contact Us for more details)
• Setting up a team to collect updated information of Orphanages in different places in China. So we could find out how to help/support those Orphans in different situations more effectively.
• Funding more Children’s Libraries in rural areas in China.
• MBLers will team up as a group to make a Post-Donation Visit to those 8 children’s libraries in Sichuan, China. (Date: TBD)

For MBL Volunteers
• Volunteer Recruitment Fair on Campus, Workshops & Trainings ( Contact Us if you want to host one at your University/Organisation)

  • March – Oxford
  • July, August & September – China
  • October & November – Cambridge/London

• Other Events & Activities

Well, well…We all know that there is always more coming than we planned! But don’t forget, there will be an MBL Chinese New Year Celebration in February and an MBL X’mas Party in December for children, families, volunteers, and friends! (Please Contact Us …if you are interested in Sponsorship/Partnership with those events)

Thanks for your continuous Support and also please keep updated with us through MBL Website, Facebook, Weibo, and Twitter!

Have a great 2013 ahead!

XIAO Li 肖莉
MBL London Head Office

Get Social With MBL

Dear MBLers,

We know a lot of you are already active on social media such as Weibo, Facebook and Twitter – so please link with us and help spread our news!



Twitter: @MothersBridge

Al Vandenberg – “A Celebration of Al”

MBL’s great friend, Mr Al Vandenberg, recently passed away. “A Celebration of Al” was held on Thursday 29th March at 12 pm. People remember him as a great father of two, a great photographer and a lover of Chinese people. He loved China madly, from reciting the Tao Te Jing, to taking photos of Chinese people…

See his pictures at http://alvandenberg.com

It was MBL’s founder, Xinran, whose support letter helped him to apply for funding from the British Council so that he could go to China three times. From those trips he produced a collection photos about China, and MBL arranged lots of volunteers to support his photo shoots. Some of the volunteers were children from Nanjing BaiXia Children’s Palace, which is now MBL’s base in China. 57 of those photos have been bought by the V&A museum and will be exhibited in July 2012.

Al Vandenberg will be truely missed by MBLers and many friends in China…

MBL London Head Office