The Chinese Society was first set up to help Chinese students who were coming to study on their own, miles away from home, to settle down and make friends, and to create a home away from home for students who share a similar background.
We've developed a lot over the years and made connections with many other cultural societies in the University of Birmingham, apart from helping students from the same cultural background, we also aim to share Chinese culture, language, food, history etc with those who are interested. We have set up a language buddy scheme to pair up a Chinese student with a non-Chinese student who wants to learn mandarin. Not only does this helps to share our language, but the Chinese students are able put out of their comfort zone and can learn a new foreign language such as French, Spanish or improve their English.
Chinese New Year Gala
Chinese New Year is the most important festival in China. It’s like Christmas for the British. Chinese New Year usually takes place in February, depending on the lunar calendar each year it varies. Even though we are not able to spend Chinese New Year with our families, we still want to celebrate it in style, hence we decided to do a Chinese New Year gala. Every Chinese New Year, there will be a famous live TV show in China of lots of Chinese celebrities singing and dancing and playing games with the audiences to celebrate Chinese New Year. As a result, we decided to do something similar to make everyone feel home. We asked members of the Chinese society to sign up to perform at the gala, there’s a great variety of talent – from piano performance to original poems. In order to keep our Chinese tradition of giving red pockets during the New Year, we did a lucky draw to give out red pockets. The gala was performed in both Chinese and English, it was very much enjoyed by everyone, including those who are joining us for the first time experiencing Chinese New Year.
First Chinese Drama at the University of Birmingham
Zoe Lu, Vice President of Chinese Society and Third Year BA Drama and Theatre Arts student first came up with the idea of doing a Chinese Drama. We thought drama would be a fun and light hearted way to give you a taste of our culture and history. Originally written by Stan Lai, the play was about a modern tragedy ‘Secret Love’ and period comedy ‘Peach Blossom Spring’ double booking the rehearsal space and was forced to rehearse at the same time. We hope that they play will be able to give you an insight of what problems young couple face in the early modern days and problems caused by the war but at the same time just to have a laugh and a joyful evening. Also, as the first Chinese drama production in the University of Birmingham, we thought this play is very suitable as it gives you a taste of both comedy and tragedy.
The preparation process wasn’t easy at all, from casting actors to confirming a venue and all the technical requirements, translating it to English for subtitles etc. This play has given all of us a valuable opportunity to learn to work as a team and overcome problems. We aim to produce more drama productions and cultural events in future for both students in University of Birmingham as well as the general public in Birmingham.
Star Award Singing Contest
Karaoke is very popular and common in China and Hong Kong, it’s basically like the British going to the pub.
To share this very entertaining activity with those who are interested in learning more about the entertainment aspect of Chinese culture, we decided to organize a singing contest in Karaoke style.
The event was mainly organized by the Oriental Society, University of Birmingham, the audition round of the contest took place in Ming Moon Karaoke, and there were more than 60 contestants from different countries throughout all five live auditions
We invited professionals from the Chinese music and performing arts scene to be our judges, including Simon Tong – local music producer, Dorian Chan – Vice Chairman of Wing Wah Group, Shu Wang – found of Shero Dance Group
We had a very hard time picking the 12 finalists. Everyone did a fantastic job on the night of the final round, we feel very proud being able to provide a platform for those who have a talent to shine and to give an opportunity for those who are interested in Karaoke to have a taster of it.