2014 CEEDS Chinese Day -- Traditional Chinese culture experiences for young students

Event report - CEEDS “Chinese Day” at Cambridge Leys School, 1st February 2014

On the second day of the Chinese New Year, CEEDS held a ‘Chinese Day’ event in the Leys School of Cambridge. This event has been inspired by the British Prime Minister’s visit to China, which promotes a deepening communication between two cultures. With the support from the Cultural Office, Embassy of China in London and various individuals, the ‘Chinese Day’ welcomed over 50 pupils and parents from local schools in Cambridge (More information…… )

Chinese New Year, as the most important traditional Festival in China, not only marks the beginning of an auspicious new year but also carries the rich and long-lasting Chinese culture. To share the culture and festivity with young students in Cambridge, we will organise a one-day integrated event named the “Chinese Day”. We aim to bring together cultural elements through demonstration, lectures and workshops, such as Mandarin teaching, calligraphy, brush painting, dumping making, music, martial arts, dancing and etc.

Entry is free and open to all local students aged 11-18 (Year 6-13)!

Sign up now! (By Monday 27th January, 2014)

Time】9.30 - 16.00, Saturday 1st February, 2014

Location】The Leys School, Cambridge (Fen Causeway, Cambridge CB2 7AD)

Proposed schedule

09.30 – 10.00: Venue open and registration

10.00 – 11.00: Mandarin Chinese

11.15 – 12.15: Chinese calligraphy & brush painting

12.30 – 13.30: Dumpling making and lunch at Leys

13.45 – 14.45: Tea Ceremony

15.00 – 16.00: Chinese Kungfu, Dancing and Musical Instruments

* The actual activities & arrangements on the day might be adjusted. For the latest information please contact info@cam-ceeds.org


Language can always provide an access to a culture. It is not only a medium but also a part of culture. Chinese language has a long time of evolution, and people outside of China are usually surprised that this language can be spoken entirely differently from one village to another. Mandarin is now the most widely used standard language in China. We will give an introduction of Mandarin from its pronunciation and writing to common expressions.

Chinese characters can be written in a regular way in daily life, but can be a form of art as well, and Chinese calligraphy can realise such a transformation. After the introduction of Mandarin, students will see how to transform the language into art, including how to use the famous four treasures of the study (brush, ink, paper and ink stone). Chinese brush painting is also a similar form of art, and involves essentially the same techniques as calligraphy. This style of painting is known today as our native painting. The module of Chinese brush painting will give students a chance to experience this native tradition.

Apart from the traditional art, we will give students the chance to learn and taste the traditional food and drink. For tradition food, we will make and cook dumplings - traditionally eaten on Chinese New Year’s Eve, particularly in northern China to signify the reunion of the whole family. In terms of tradition drink, tea is certainly the first choice in China. We will introduce a variety of Chinese tea and compare Chinese tea culture with English tea culture in the Tea Ceremony.

After the tea ceremony, students will experience other aspects of Chinese tradition; these include Chinese musical instruments, martial art and traditional dancing. Each Chinese musical instrument generates a unique sound and auditory effect, and students could have a chance to learn how to play those instruments afterwards. Meanwhile, we will also have Kungfu workshop. Kungfu is usually referred to as Chinese martial art. It is even not easy to see them in modern China. Many styles are developed over thousands years in China, and we will teach students some basics about it. Additionally, we have the Chinese dancing session for the students who like dancing. In these sessions, students will not only see the demonstrations but also have the chance to really learn the basic skills.


We would like to give our sincere thanks to organisations and individuals who have kindly supported our ‘Chinese Day’ event:

Cambridge Leys School

Website: http://www.theleys.net

Cultural Office, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

Website: http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk/eng/

Pine Studio – Oriental watercolours  Mr. Peter Cavaciuti 


Meng’s Chinese Dance


Cafe Oriental - Dumpling Bar


Chines Kungfu Teaching – Pachi Tanglang Martial Arts   Mr. Juan Acevedo 


Cambridge Chinese Classics


Chinese Tea Performance – Ms. CHEN Xi (Artist in Chinese painting and tea)


Chinese Calligraphy Teaching – Mr. JIA Yanbo (PhD Student and Calligraphy lover)


Mandarin Teaching– Ms. Shanshan Yan (PhD Student from FAMES, Cambridge)



Event Q&As

Why are you holding the 'Chinese Day'?

The exchange between China and UK has been deepening on many dimensions including education, science and technology, trade and so on. During his visit to China, the Prime Minister mentioned the importance of 'get(ting) more children learning Mandarin'. Seeing the society's mission, we have proposed the 'Chinese Day' with the generous help from Leys School.  

Do I need to pay to participate?

No. The 'Chinese Day' is free to all interested pupils aged 11-18. There will be some traditional Chinese souvenirs for sale on the day.

What is the venue for the 'Chinese Day'?

It is held in the Great hall of Leys School. Some activities may use other function rooms in the campus.

How can I decide which session to come?

Calligraphy and painting are taking place at the same time, so don't choose both. Please also consider the continuity between the sessions: for example, Calligraphy will probably teach you the characters mentioned in Mandarin-Learning. 

Can parents join at all?

Of course, all parents are welcome to accompany their children. Although the sessions are designed for 11-18 years' olds, we believe they may appeal to parents as well. 

Is there any lunch arrangement?

We plan to make and cook dumplings together. If that is not possible, we will make other arrangement for students to take lunch at Leys. You may also bring along your own packed lunch.

If you have any other questions, please email us at info@cam-ceeds.org