Monday 23rd July 2018
A Buddhist Temple & Birthday Celebrations
Monday began with the art of Chinese paper cutting where we were educated on the different types and uses of paper cutting; some of which even were even used for clothing and catwalk fashion, as well as, lighting and furniture. At the beginning of the lesson, we were given multi-coloured pieces of paper and shown a range of methods to create different designs.
Afterwards, we were given the freedom to freestyle and Adam C and Sam B really showed off their skills. (Samantha even seemed to create a 3D red and green Christmas decoration and Adam a rabbit!). Shortly after, we went for our Martial Arts class again where we selected the best students from each group to perform in the closing ceremony. Emily, Adam C, Ella H, Amber and Sam G were selected and practise in the lesson began… In the afternoon, we met at the school’s museum and saw the historical layout of the school in scaled models, as well as staff photos. This enabled us to further appreciate the size of the school and its many students.
Then, it was the walk to the Tianning Pagoda to visit the Buddhist Temple. Words could not explain the size of this building. Amber suggested climbing all 12 floors of the building to reach the top and, the challenge was accepted by Mr Redfern and her Chinese buddy, Ollie, but not all! (The lift seemed much more appealing for the majority, especially in the 35+ degree heat! In the pagoda, students viewed the calligraphy scripts and sculptures. On the outside, we tried posing for selfies just away from the edge as the sheer height was nerve-wracking for some. Journeying back down the pagoda, we took a walk around the corner to the Buddhist Temple and the grandeur, colour and extravagance of the statues was incredible to say the least. Many statues towered over their visitors- some with eerie eyes, watching. In front of the altar, visitors lay offerings of fruit and water to the gods and this further enhanced the majesty of the statues and how they ‘…come alive’ when worshipped. We even watched a small child kneel and pray with utter devotion, mirroring her Grandmother’s method of prayer and the respect and reverence was inspiring.
As it was Adam Cole’s birthday, we wanted to make sure he had a day which he would never forget. To ensure this, Mr Redfern and Miss Cox arranged for a cake and card to be presented to Adam after dinner. This was like no other Birthday cake in England though... This one was covered in cream; filled with a much lighter sponge and topped with a range of fresh fruits, including tomatoes!! When the cake was brought to Adam, the whole canteen sang ‘Happy Birthday’- all students and teachers from the Chinese school and the other English schools too! Having thoroughly enjoyed the day, we extended the good cheer in to the evening where we visited the shopping centre and stocked up on blue or clear Pepsi; red or gold speakers (as little as £13), charging packs, eye packs, bags and much more! Some of the shopaholics will be going home with a third or even fourth piece of luggage with all the gifts and treats. (Miss Cox!)