Welcoming the Year of the Tiger – in real life!

Posted on by Lauren MacCarthy.

by Karen Garvey, events officer and Chatchamon Phoojaroenchanachai, volunteer and student at the University of Bristol

Lunar New Year (also called Chinese New Year or Spring Festival) is traditionally a time for family, reunions and fresh hope. This was in abundance as we entered Year of the Tiger at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery earlier this month.

After a three year hiatus, it was wonderful to join our amazing community partners for a real life event again.

a blue Chinese lion costume

We were delighted to see familiar friends from local Chinese and East Asian community groups, as well as welcoming new partners for the first time. There were a dazzling array of dance and musical performances in gloriously colourful costumes by South Gloucestershire Chinese Association, Avon Chinese School, Joy Cheung, Clevedon School, KALA CHNG, North Somerset Intercultural Dance Association; and for the first time the stunning Bournemouth Chinese Dance Group and a fabulous Filwood team comprising RISE Youth Dance, Boomsatsuma and Movema.

There were gasps of awe for the skilful martial arts performances by Bristol Shaolin Wushu and Bristol Wutan, whilst everyone was thrilled to see the reassuring presence of the lively Bristol Wutan lion.

Two women with face masks on stood in front of a stand promoting Chinese activitiesVisitors enjoyed craft and cultural activities led by Chinese Welfare Group, Avon Chinese School, Bristol China Bureau, University of Bristol Botanic Gardens, our brilliant volunteers (mostly students in the city), and for the first time, Korean activities led by Jeongeun Kong.

China National Tourist Office London generously gave away lots of exciting gifts and we were indebted to our sponsor, University of Bristol and to the support of Kumon Maths and English.

We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved – including our wonderful visitors! We wish you happiness, strength and courage in the Year of the Tiger.

Chatchamon’s experience

The experience of volunteering at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery on the Lunar New Year was fantastic! It was a fun and heart-warming day that made me love Bristol more.

I worked at the booth that spread culture through origami and fortune cookies. It started with a struggle because all volunteers didn’t know each other, and none of us knew how to make origami. But we need to teach kids. So, we tried hard to learn how to fold papers into shapes. During the event, I taught kids how to make a frog that can jump. It was fun when the kids cheered and showed jumping frogs to their families. Some of the kids even came back to the booth to shyly thank and tell me it was fun.

At the end of the day, our booth had many different colourful origami designs on the table. There were frogs, cranes, boxes, lilies, and tulips. In addition, I had a chance to know more people and even make good friends. I’m so glad that I can be a part of this meaningful experience.

Are you interested in volunteering with us? Find out more and apply online.

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