On Friday the 19th of October, all of the F Block went on trips with their enrichment groups. As we took part in the MFL activities, Mr Brown and Dr Leamon took us to De Montfort University in Leicester, where we learnt about Chinese culture and even their calligraphy
First, we were given a basic overview of the Chinese language, in order to prepare us for the phrases our instructors would use throughout the day. By the end of the first session, we could introduce ourselves and read some simple words. Also, as an incentive, we were given bookmarks every time we answered a question correctly or read a phrase well. At the end, there was a hand painted postcard, which was for the person with the most bookmarks. This was given to Felix Macintosh.
After this, we were introduced to calligraphy. We wrote the character meaning blessings (福). As we became more confident, we moved from water paper to using ink and made several neat copies of it. Then, we drew some pandas, which turned out surprisingly well!
For lunch, we went to a local Chinese restaurant. The food here was delicious. Chinese is our favourite cuisine, so it was brilliant. Using the chopsticks, however, was a bit of a challenge.
Afterwards, we walked back to the University to learn about the Peking Opera and each of us got to colour Peking Opera face masks, we did this for around an hour and it was great fun! Then, we learnt how to do some Chinese paper cutting. We each were given a heart template to cut out and everyone’s looked great. Some of us also managed to have enough time to cut up our own designs.
At the end, the teachers of the University demonstrated a traditional Chinese Fan Dance which we all found very interesting and loved every second of it. After their performance, each of us was given a fan and we followed instructions on how to flick the fan perfectly. It was great fun and eventually, we all learned a small part of the dance to finish off. We found the trip quite interesting and had a lot of fun with our friends.
Overall, everyone had a superb day at the University and learned a lot about the Chinese Culture.