Xiaochun, from China, joined Ricefield as a work placement student during at her postgraduate degree at the University of Glasgow. She supported our online workshop programme from October 2020 – March 2021.
It has been really enjoyable to work with Ricefield Arts. I started my placement here in October 2020. My colleagues are kind and the experience has been wonderful. Else, Laura and the other Ricefield Arts board members helped me a lot, which made the experience easier. I have taken part in various online workshops, including the Chinese Ghost Stories Halloween event and the Chinese New Year Celebration. I have also designed my own workshop about Chinese mythical creatures and guided participants to make Chinese knotting charms.
In Chinese Ghost Stories, I was cast as the ghost, Mei Qing, in The Painted Skin. It was my first time to play a ghost and to perform in front of an online audience. I also created the banner which was featured on the event’s Eventbrite and Facebook pages. I am happy that people enjoyed my performance in the show and that they liked the banner I designed. Before the session, I practised the performance a lot of times with my colleagues. They helped me to improve my part. During this event, I got to know my colleagues better which encouraged me to try brand new things in the workshops which followed.
I designed my own workshop which told the story of the Chinese mythical creature Nian and guided participants to make a Chinese knotting charm. This idea was encouraged by Else and we had several meetings to discuss the details. After we decided the content of the workshop, I researched the myths of Nian and learnt how to make the firecracker knot. The preparations took a long time and but I finally managed it. I have to say, I did not expect there to be over 80 audience members! I was very nervous when I found out. It was challenging for me to handle presenting and hosting the event on Zoom. I tried to answer the questions people put in the chat box and continue my teaching at the same time. The whole session ran successfully. Hosting these workshops gave me experience with dealing with large audiences on Zoom; I also hosted a Chinese dumpling cooking workshop which had around 350 participants.
Another important event was the Chinese New Year Celebration. As this is the most important festival for Chinese families, we arranged various performances including singing, dancing, and Chinese martial arts. I prepared two Chinese poems about Chinese New Year to recite for the audience. Along with this performance, I also created the poster for this event. I practised my design skills and I felt really joyful when I finished the poster.
I am really happy that Ricefield Arts gave me many chances to practise my skills and offered me a large stage to use my knowledge in a practical way. Though this is a tough time [during Covid-19 lockdown restrictions], I spent my days working with Ricefield Arts on meaningful and enjoyable workshops. Over the last six months, I developed my knowledge and skills at Ricefield Arts and used them to help the community become a better place.
Uliana, from Ukraine, worked with Ricefield during summer 2017 as part of the European Voluntary Service (EVS) scheme.
I have finished my voluntary work with Ricefield Arts and Cultural Centre now, and I would like to say a huge thanks for the opportunity to collaborate with you. It was a really great experience for me, and gave me wonderful memories. I gained new skills, met new people, tried many new things, and challenged myself.
During my voluntary work with Ricefield, I helped to organise some events, worked in the office and assisted at festivals. Being from Ukraine, it was very interesting to discover another, absolutely new culture, from this inside perspective.
Also thanks to my work with Ricefield I had the opportunity to try new experiences such as taking part in street theatre performance, and dragon boat racing at the Glasgow Canal Festival. These were indeed incredible experiences for me; there were a lot of positive moments and I met wonderful people.
Honestly, I could write about my EVS experience for much longer. But, in conclusion I would like to say that I am very glad that I chose Ricefield Arts and Culture Centre as my EVS project, and as part of my life in Scotland. If you have the opportunity to join their work, don’t hesitate at all, because it’s worth it. Thanks for everything Ricefield!
A. J. (Alipu) & Liu Shuang
All the way from China, A. J. and Liu Shuang joined Ricefield through British Council’s Global Xchange programme. During the 2 months they worked with Ricefield, they have contributed greatly to cataloguing Ricefield Library on-line and organising Ricefield’s cultural products. They also produced a video introducing the lives and workplaces of the 16 volunteers from China and Britain.
As part of the British Council’s Global Xchange programme, I volunteered in Ricefield for 2 months from October to December 2010 along with another volunteer from China. The staff in Ricefield has been greatly helpful and supportive helping us to overcome the language issues and encouraged us to work on something creative and meaningful. After discussing, we decided to produce a video about how Global Xchange volunteers lived and worked in Britain, and Ricefield agreed to arrange cameras, laptops and other equipment required for this task. We produced a 15min video introducing the lives and workplaces of the 16 volunteers from China and Britain. However there were issues with equipment and time towards the end of the project and our commitment to other activities in the programme has also taken more time than we thought, so the video was not finished during the time when we were in Ricefield. Besides the video, we also worked on setting up Ricefield Library’s on-line catalogue and organising the cultural merchandise from China.
I have learnt a lot in the 2 months working for Ricefield with the help and support from the staff. I also built a great relationship with everyone in Ricefield through this unforgettable experience. I would like to thank Ricefield again for giving me the opportunity to learn and experience so much.