Glasgow Mela

Here is a recap of our day at Glasgow Mela from Ricefield Volunteer, Laura Matheson:

‘Sunday 17 July was definitely one of my most memorable days volunteering with Ricefield so far, even if it also was the most busy! It was finally Glasgow Mela festival time, and after appearing at many Mela on Your Doorstep events, we were all excited for the main event.

The team started early (although, admittedly I was one of the lucky ones on the afternoon shift) transporting an array of crafts supplies, snacks and general Chinese goodies over from Ricefield HQ to Kelvingrove Park, praying the wet weather would stay off for the day. Our two stalls were set up without any rain, very luckily for those in the outdoor Kids Zone! The crowds grew quickly at 12pm when the festival began, and suddenly the park was alive with sound, colour and the smells of food from around the world. Ricefield got our dance moves out once again to celebrate, and started the day off with a traditional lion dance.

Over at our sales stall, historical Chinese costumes were hung up, the magic calligraphy mats were unraveled and the lanterns were out in every shape and size. We were in a great position to enjoy the entertainment, across from one of the many stages showcasing international music and dance. I had to concentrate however, as my main focus for the day was our raffle tickets, tucked inside the red envelopes you may be familiar with from Chinese New Year. I was very happy to award our grand prize; a personalised calligraphy scroll, as well as sharing Chinese lucky sweets. The calligraphy team were busy as always, with Lu and Shu teaching characters and creating very popular temporary Chinese tattoos. Next to them festival-goers could try out Chinese costumes from throughout the dynasties, and we were lucky to have quite a few emperors at the stall. Somehow, we also managed to fit in selling a selection of Chinese treats, including fortune cookies and kites, with all funds going back into supporting Ricefield’s work.

The other half of our hardworking team spent the day under a tree, teaching children (and interested adults!) Chinese crafts. Huiyun shared her origami skills, Charlie helped build paper lanterns, while Clarinda taught the crowds how to make their own Chinese kites. The scene itself was magical, as the lanterns dangled from the tree and people tested their new creations in the breeze. It perhaps wasn’t sunny, but this was picturesque enough I think!

Getting to experience the festival from the perspective of a volunteer really made the day special for me, as I appreciated not only highlighting Chinese culture, but also being part of this wider celebration of Glasgow’s diversity and multiculturalism. I enjoyed chatting to visitors about China, while eating some amazing Indian ice cream and sharing Mexican tacos, and finishing it off by watching some Bhangra dancing. It really was a day to reflect on Glasgow as an international city, making Ricefield’s work with Chinese communities and culture seem all the more vital as part of our shared growth.’

 

Hong Lok Lion Dance

Hong Lok Lion Dance

Calligraphy

Calligraphy

Some of our Ricefield volunteers

Some of our Ricefield volunteers

Calligraphy Practice

Calligraphy Practice

To see more of our photos from Glasgow Mela, you can visit our Facebook page.

Summer Arts Festival events

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We had a fantastic time at the Mela Festival and we are continuing to deliver Chinese art and craft activities in various communities in Glasgow throughout July!

23 July, 12-4pm – Alexandra Park in Dennistoun
24 July, 12-4pm– Springburn Park in Springburn
30 July, 12-5pm – The Bridge Easterhouse – 10 year celebration

Click here for more information on these events

Hope to see you there!


Moon_Cakes

We are also hosting our next Cooking Pot food event: Mid-Autumn Festival – Chinese Dessert Night on Saturday 17 September at The Project Cafe from 7-9pm!

Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite for £10

Mela on Your Doorstep

Ricefield is very pleased to be involved with Glasgow’s Mela Festival this year, and on Sunday 22 & 29 May we were happy to offer a taster of what it’s all about. For our second date, we joined the diverse Mela on Your Doorstep programme at Netherton Community Centre, from Bhangra dancing and henna tattoos to Ayawara drummers and Bollywood. You could find Ricefield’s iconic red tables in the cafe, alongside the delicious free curry. From there, we wanted to share a range of Chinese culture, and used crafts to get visitors (children and adults welcome!) involved. Charlie and Andrew taught guests how to make their own decorative Chinese lanterns, while I helped with Year of the Monkey themed colouring in. Hui Yun was our origami expert, giving children the chance to learn to make simple paper hearts, to (in my opinion!) more difficult hats and birds. Else was guiding calligraphy lessons, and offering very popular Chinese tattoos; you could spot her artwork on arms throughout the centre. All of our visitors left with their own piece of Chinese craft as a Mela souvenir, and hopefully having learned a little bit more about China. For us volunteers, however, the most memorable moment of the day was definitely taking part in the Mela procession, where we created our own Ricefield lantern dance. We were maybe not as talented as the other amazing performers, but its the enthusiasm that counts!

 

The next Mela on Your Doorstep event will be on 10 July 2016 at the Tramway.

Ricefield will return for the main event, Glasgow Mela, on 17 July 2016.
Come along and join us at Kelvingrove Park.

Written by Laura Matheson

If you would like to volunteer with us at the Mela Festival this year, please sign up here by 13th July 2016, 5pm.

Check out more photos of our Mela events here on our Facebook page

2016 Chinese New Year Activities

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Are you interested in Chinese art and culture?

Do you have some spare time and would like to volunteer, meet new people and gain valuable experience?

We are looking for new volunteers to help with our Chinese New Year events in Scotland. Lunch will be provided on the event day. For our events at Edinburgh and Perth, we have arranged a van to go together as a group from Glasgow and come back together.

Events 活动:
Monday 25 Jan 2016 – Chinese calligraphy (Fai Chun) family activity with NG Homes (4:45pm-6pm)
24th Jan 2016 or 30th Jan 2016 – Volunteers Training and Induction Day 义工培训日 (10:30am-3pm)
31st Jan 2016- Preparation Day for Chinese New Year events 春节活动筹备工作日
5th Feb 2016 – Chinese New Year celebration in Edinburgh 爱丁堡新春活动 (10am-4:30pm)
6th Feb 2016- Chinese New Year celebration in Perth 珀斯新春活动 (9:30am-5:30pm)
7th Feb 2016- Chinese New Year celebration in Glasgow 格拉斯哥新春活动 (10:30am-2pm or 1:30pm-5pm)
25 Feb 2016 – Chinese New Year activity at Wing Hong elderly centre (10-11am)

If you are interested to sign up as volunteers, please go to Ricefield’s website to sign up our volunteers form (http://ricefield.org.uk/volunteer/or send us an email at info@ricefield.org.uk.

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