Queen’s Park is an area known for its diversity, and on Thursday 9 February we held a Community Cultural Celebration in the library which recognised the wide mix of people who live in the area.
The event – part of the Made in Libraries festival – began with face-painting and badge-making for the kids and continued with henna, Indian head massage and jewellery-making.
Chinese calligraphy master Mr Zhu particularly impressed the crowd with his beautiful translations of people’s names, and the evening was rounded off with some lively African dancing provided by local health and well-being group Healthier Life 4 You.
North African, Caribbean and Bangladeshi food was on offer, courtesy of local businesses Timgad and Guava Nights, plus the libraries’ ESOL conversation class. Not surprisingly this proved very popular! The library was absolutely packed with a mix of old and young, familiar faces and curious newcomers all keen to sample the activities. To say the atmosphere was lively would be something of an understatement, although fortunately the Learning Centre was available for those who wanted an escape from it all.
Complementing the event’s theme was ‘Women of Colour – an Exhibition of Samplism’ by the local artist Toby Laurent Belson, which runs until 7 March. Toby’s vivid collage pieces, which depict women of the African diaspora, are stunning and make a visit to Queen’s Park Library even more worthwhile.
Libraries celebrated the Chinese New Year of the Horse at Charing Cross Library last week, with a programme of events including traditional music and dance, calligraphy, and martial arts.
The Chinese Services Librarian, Chichy Li, based at Charing Cross Library, organised a stunning display of martial arts performed by HengLong Kungfu Club & Performance Team, music and dance performed by by Xuan Ji and Ms Wang FengYing and calligraphy by Cai, Weimin.
Take a look at a gallery of images from the event, on the BBC China Service site.
We also took the opportunity to launch the recently introduced service Chinese Corner, a scheme which offers the public and businesses learning materials and activities on the Chinese language and culture and is a networking opportunity for the local community. Chinese Hanban has generously sponsored the Chinese corner for 300 titles of reading and teaching materials and provides £4000 funds annually.
The Chinese Library is much valued and well-used by the local community, being located on the edge of London’s Chinatown with holdings of over 70,000 Chinese adult and children’s books, plus CDs for loan and reference – one of the largest collections of Chinese materials in the UK. Director of Libraries and Archives Mike Clarke thanked the Chinese community for their continued support and involvement.
Charing Cross Library offers language classes for those who wish to learn Chinese, especially for business and those who wish to improve their English language skills. There will also be Chinese painting classes with Mr Cai based in Charing Cross beginning tomorrow, 15 February 2014. Contact the library for more information.
[Chichy and Eve. Images courtesy of Eve Francourt]
Posted in Arts & culture, Books, Charing Cross Library
Tagged calligraphy, Charing Cross, Chinese, Chinese Corner, Chinese Library, Chinese New Year, concert, dance, music, painting, performance, Year of the Horse
Mu Ling visited Victoria Library last week to give a workshop on Chinese calligraphy.
We started by copying – as young children first learning calligraphy do – the character for people. She elegantly drew the characters for The Year of the Horse, Wind, Earth, Fire and Water, which the group copied. There were nine fascinated attendees.
We have since received this lovely piece of feedback, and will be considering holding similar events in the future.
“My wife and I really enjoyed last night’s free calligraphy session, thanks! Was really relaxed, fun and informative. I will be borrowing some calligraphy books today and my wife bought a brush and some ink from the very good teacher. Look forward to similar events in the future!”