Ricefield Arts had a busy month in February with our Chinese New Year celebrations programme. This busy programme of activity wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our hard-working volunteer team.
A few of our volunteers had written blogs to share their experience taking part in and helping at our Chinese New Year events. Feel free read their blogs below. Thanks to our volunteer Debbie who helped us to take photos at Kelvin Hall & Riverside Museum too.
Volunteer blog 1: Written by Jialin
Chinese New Year Family Fun Day at Kelvin Hall
Ricefield Arts organised the annual Chinese New Year celebrations with venue partner Kelvin Hall on Saturday 8 February 2020, I am honoured to be one of the volunteers with Ricefield this time, to help promoting traditional Chinese games and craft activities to visitors. Over thirty volunteers were recruited to support this event. We gathered at 10 am in the activity room in Kelvin Hall for a volunteer briefing, and headed to set up venue after.
My task of the day was to interact with the visitors at the chopstick challenge table. The visitors who took part in the chopstick challenge were asked to pick up objects of different sizes using chopsticks, and those who completed the challenge were given fortune cookies as their reward. To my surprise, some parents are able to use chopsticks very well, and have shown their interest in Chinese food and culture. We taught many children to use chopsticks and it was fun to see the children keep practicing enthusiastically. I was really happy! ꒰ᐢ⸝⸝•-•⸝⸝ᐢ꒱
My favourite activity was the origami (paper folding) workshop beside our table. I took opportunity during my break to learn some paper folding technique from other volunteers manning the origami table. I was proud to turn a piece of square paper to a little origami rat!
There were other interesting activities being delivered as part of the event, including a lion dance performance. Watching a lion dance performance is one of the traditional customs of the Chinese New Year. Being able to see a lion dance in the UK really touched the hearts of every overseas student. The children and everyone of us enjoyed the performance.| ᐕ)⁾⁾
The event ended at four in the afternoon. I was very lucky to met many talented friends and other volunteers from Ricefield through this event. This is my first time participating in Ricefield’s activities, but it will not be the last time. I hope we will meet again next time! .^◡^.
Volunteer blog 2: Written by Silin
Chinese New Year Family Fun Day at Kelvin Hall
The Chinese New Year event at Kelvin Hall was very interesting! There were many booths! Other than traditional activities like Chinese lanterns making and Chinese calligraphy writing, we also delivered interactive games such as shuttlecock kicking. There were activities suitable for different age groups, and the event was well attended by families with children.
As a volunteer at the Chinese calligraphy table, I felt that I was no longer just an ordinary volunteer, but more like a participant. I had been practising Chinese calligraphy writing throughout the event happily while demonstrating to all visitors.
The most memorable thing for me was the lion dance. As a Cantonese who is familiar with this activity, I think the lion dance was very authentic. The crowd applauded enthusiastically when they saw it, and the children were so excited to see the lion.
Volunteer blog 3 : Written by Menghan
Chinese New Year Family Fun Day at Kelvin Hall
I had a wonderful experience with Ricefield Arts in their annual Chinese New Year celebrations event on 8 February. It was my first time taking part in volunteering work in Glasgow and also in the UK. I really enjoyed the volunteering experience and also meeting many new friends there.
Chinese New Year Celebration is an annual event of Ricefield Arts to engage with the diverse communities through cultural sharing. As a volunteer, we enjoyed the opportunity given to us to interact with the local communities through delivering activities. 35 volunteers were recruited to support this event, and all of us were asked to gather in the Kelvin Hall at 10am on that day for preparation works. We displayed a traditional lion head, which represents good luck and fortune, on the information booth to attract visitors. There was also a wishing tree beside the information booth for visitors to make a wish.
I was mainly based at the lantern making workshop during the event. This activity was most popular with children, and we had been extremely busy. We taught them how to make their own paper lanterns step-by-step. It was meaningful for me to teach someone to learn about a traditional Chinese craft such as making lanterns. Children were so happy to leave the table with the lanterns they made themselves.
I have learnt a lot through this event. Although I was a newcomer for Ricefield Arts, I believe that I would keep volunteering with them in the future. Thank you and see you soon!
Volunteer blog 4: Written by Nancy
Chinese New Year Family Fun Day at Riverside Museum
We had a busy day delivering activities at the Chinese New Year event at the Riverside Museum. The event was on the last day of Chinese New Year period, which also known as ‘The Lantern Festival’. Because of that, ‘The Street’ inside the Riverside Museum was decorated with a lot of red lanterns, and we delivered lantern making as one of our activities. Our volunteers showed the process of making simple Chinese lanterns to visitors, and guided the children to make, design and decorate their own paper lanterns. This activity was popular among children and we believe this type of craft activity stimulated children’s creativity.
This year is the Chinese Year of the Rat. We hosted a few Chinese zodiac animals storing telling session for children inside the subway station. We also had a Chinese zodiac booth for visitors to find out their Chinese zodiac animals, and its corresponding meaning on the display boards we have made in advance.
We also had a photo booth corner for visitors to try Chinese traditional clothing ‘Hanfu’. Volunteers had a great time demonstrating colourful Hanfu to the visitors. They also helped those interested to try on and took photos. . Different designs of Hanfu in ancient China reflected different life styles and social status. For example, the style of Hanfu worn by the emperor and the royal family would look very different.
Overall, the event has been very successful, bringing people a lot of fun while sharing the beauty of Chinese culture.
Volunteer blog 5: Written by Sherry
Chinese New Year Workshops at Princes Square
It was the first time I participated in Ricefield’s event. We delivered some craft activities at the courtyard inside the Princes Square to celebrate Chinese New Year. The courtyard was transformed and featured a lovely pagoda and red carpets. Families were invited to take part in a series of Chinese craft workshops.
My main task was to teach people to make a lantern, and most of them were children. To be honest, I never made a lantern on my own before, so I was shown the technique and quickly learnt to make a few before the workshop. When I started making one with a group of children by my side, I felt that the whole process was manageable and incredibly calming.
I heard there were other craft workshops, such as dragon puppet and CNY hanging decoration making, being delivered by Ricefield Arts at Princes Square on other days too. I took part in the activities on Sunday 2nd February, Other than the lantern making, we also had Chinese calligraphy demonstration and chopstick games, which were hugely enjoyable as well.
Back in China, I’ve never cherished my own culture so much as I did in princess square that day. Being surrounded by the crowd who was attracted by our craft stalls and with many asking us questions about china makes me realised how attractive Chinese culture is. I was overwhelmingly delightful to see Chinese culture being appreciated by local residents. As the old song goes ‘I belong to Glasgow…, Glasgow belongs to me….’ This volunteering opportunity provided an opportunity for me to connect to this magnificent city.
Volunteer blog 6: Written by Zhengduo
Chinese New Year Event at Perth
On 2nd February, I participated in Ricefield’s Chinese Yew year activity in Perth, as part of the Winter Festival Night Lights event. I was pleased with that, and it was an excellent experience for me.
I found the information from WeChat group several days before the activity. I signed up without hesitation. What’s more, since I have been to Scotland, I didn’t go to any city farther north than Glasgow. This was an excellent chance to visit another city in Scotland.
We were asked to arrive at the meeting point 30 minutes before departure. We helped to moved all stock into the minibus. Interestingly, I came across three big pots of hot water within our stock, and I did not know what would we do with them. It took us about 1 hour to travel to Perth by minibus. On the way, I found it was raining outside. When we arrived in Perth, the weather didn’t get better, and I also felt cold.
However, the weather could not stop our passion, and everyone seemed to be very happy and full of expectation. At that time, I knew why I was told to wear my warm coat before the departure and why we brought the hot water! The event took place at the Norrie Miller Walk, a beautiful riverside local park in Perth. All volunteers were assigned tasks on arrival and we started to set up. We had a merchandise stall to sell Chinse arts and crafts merchandise at the event. We also delivered some traditional craft activities, and as ‘Bookmark Making’, ‘Paper Dragon Making’, ‘Learn About Your Chinese Name’, etc to engage with the visitors.
After a simple dinner, the celebration began. In the beginning, everyone was so shy that no one came to see us. However, as time went by, we successfully attracted the first one, then, more and more people came to us. It was a hectic day. During the activity, there were a few interesting things. As we got an activity to help visitors to find their Chinese names, and we also helped them to write their Chinese names on the bookmark. Sometimes, we found these two names were totally different. I had to explain to them what was a transliterated name and what was a translated name. Then I faced another problem. A local woman was very interesting Chinese words, and she found characters projected to the ground, and she took the photo to ask me. To be honest, it was so difficult because those characters were completely upside down after the projection. I finally understood them with the help of other volunteers, but another question was, how could I translate these Chinese idioms into English. I tried my best to explain. Luckily, she finally understood what I meant and left happily.
I thought this was a meaningful activity. This is not only promoting Chinese traditional culture but also gave me a deeper understanding of cultural knowledge. I feel more confident with my interpersonal skill through the face-to-face communications with the local communities, and I was also very impressed with the friendliness of the Scottish people. I am now a member of Ricefield’s marketing group, and I hope that I can do my best to help promoting Chinese culture, to engage with people from different cultures, while improving my communication skills.