The first workshop we attended was on the Qingming Festival. The teacher a Samoan-Italian, James, fluent in Chinese taught us the history and origins of this famous festival. We were divided into 4 learning groups and we had to name ourselves, devise a chant and a dance to share as a warm up. It was heaps of fun. Each group had a student tutor who volunteered from Auckland University. One group, the Karate Kids had a very funny tutor nicknamed Jackie Chan.
Once the groups were established they listened to James's talk which was followed by a Qingming quiz. James linked this festival with our Anzac Day celebrations held at the same time of year. After the session we had morning tea which had Taiwanese sweet biscuits and Anzac biscuits. http://www.chinahighlights.com/festivals/qingming-festival.htm
This is a link to a good web site with information on the Qingming Festival.
The second workshop with teacher Eric, focused on Calligraphy. We learnt to read a Chinese Qingming poem and write and paint using Chinese calligraphy and ink. A lot of attention and focus was required. While we were busy doing this Mr B , Julia and Fenella got dressed up in traditional Chinese clothing worn by the Emperor, Ministers (Fenella and Mr B) and The fourth most beautiful woman (Julia) in Chinese history.
Following this we had a huge banquet lunch.
Then our final session was Chinese traditional games, which included a Tug of War and Bamboo Spear throwing competition between the four activity groups again. It was loads of fun and the Karate Kids surprised everyone by winning the Tug of War.
Thanks Waihi Academy for such a memorable day!