U4 – U5 Mandarin Trip to London
Wednesday 2nd April 2014
On Tuesday 18 March, as part of the cultural enrichment programme for girls studying Mandarin, the Modern Languages Department arranged a trip to The British Museum. Pupils were given a guided tour of the areas of the museum dedicated to Imperial China and pupils also visited Chinatown for an authentic Chinese meal so that they can put into practice their transactional language skills.
Some of the pupils, who went on the Mandarin trip, gave their accounts of how the day went:
“On Tuesday 18 March, the Chinese students went on a trip to London to learn about Chinese culture and try Chinese food. Firstly, we went to the British Museum to learn about Chinese silk, tea and porcelain, which we all found extremely interesting. Afterwards, we all went to Chinatown and ate at the Chinese restaurant, where we had a variety of delicious foods and got to practice some of our Chinese on waiters! A walk around Chinatown ended the day, with many of us buying lots of traditional sweets and cakes to take back home. Overall, it was a great trip out, with lots of culture being learnt, and we cannot wait to go back next year!” Olivia Dunning, L5
“On Tuesday 18 March, I went to Chinatown with school. We went to learn about the culture and history of China, such as their history with silk and their traditional Chinese meals. My Mandarin teacher, Mrs Baldwin and Mrs Hough-Robbins took 20 of us to Chinatown. The weather was warm but windy which made us feel very cold at some points but it gradually became warmer throughout the day.
Before we went to Chinatown, we went to the British Museum to learn about the history of China. In the British Museum, I learnt about how China invented silk and how places around the world were in love with silk including Greece. I saw interesting China pots, which the Chinese invented, and the tour man also told us about Chinese tea, which they invented too.
After we were done with the tour we walked to Chinatown from the Museum. As soon as we got there we went to the restaurant, which was a very grand restaurant with wonderful patterns on the wall as you came in. The people working there were very friendly and showed us to our table. The food was delicious; we had a wide variety including sweet and sour chicken, fried rice and noodles. I felt very full after because I had eaten so much! Afterwards we all went round Chinatown exploring the shops and the food they were selling; most of us bought bubble tea but I bought some Chinese sweets which were so good!
Overall I found the trip very fun and I enjoyed every minute, I found the whole experience very interesting and I learnt a lot which I did not already know. In the future I would like to go to China because I am very interested in learning more about Chinese culture and history and I have also never been to China before.” Olivia Dunseath, L5
“On Tuesday 18 of March I attended the Mandarin trip to London. Everyone who was learning Mandarin or could speak Mandarin went on the trip. After chapel we all piled into the mini bus and Miss Coombs drove us to the train station. When the train arrived, we climbed aboard. It was very busy and it was hard to find seats!
When we pulled up in Paddington Station we took the Bakerloo Line to Tottenham Court Road, where we got off and bought some refreshments at Starbucks. Afterwards we crossed the road and entered the British Museum. The entrance to the museum included big steps with large columns; we took lots of photos here! It was huge; a big dome coming out of the round gift shop in the centre.
We met our tour guide, and he told us all about China. He explained that they became so big and powerful through selling three things that no one else knew how to make. Number one was silk, two was tea, and the third was porcelain (china). It was very interesting; he took us through many galleries explaining how China had affected and been affected by other nationalities.
After our visit to the British Museum, we walked to Chinatown. We stopped outside a large, red restaurant. This was where we were to eat. We went inside and walked across the restaurant to a raised platform at the back. This was where people sit when they have weddings. It was decorated in red and gold and had this character hanging on the wall: 囍. This means double happiness and is made by putting two 喜 (xǐ) of these together. 喜means happy, so 囍 means double happiness.
We had lots of food, such as noodles, egg rice, tofu, chicken, beef, dumplings and spring rolls. For pudding we had egg custard tars and slices of orange. You eat the orange first because it makes sweet things taste sweeter. Afterwards we had twenty minutes to walk around Chinatown and visit the shops. We bought lots of interesting food and sweets, and snacked on them on the train home!
Overall, the trip was really fun and we learnt lots of interesting things about China and Chinese food and life.” Madeleine Scott Knight, L5
“On the 18 March, 3 classes went to Chinatown in London to learn about China and to try Chinese food. We travelled by train and the weather was sunny but cold.
The group walked to the British Museum first and visited the Greek, Egyptian and Chinese areas of the museum and our tour guide told us about Chinese history, silk, Chinese tea and porcelain. We brought some things in the museum shop.
We then walked to Chinatown afterwards and ate in the Chinese restaurant. We had egg fried rice, noodles, pork, vegetables and Chinese tea. It was very delicious; I really like the noodles but wasn’t too keen on the Chinese tea.We walked around Chinatown and I brought some sweets for my little brother.
I really enjoyed the trip because it was fun with friends, the British Museum was very interesting and the food was delicious. In the future, I would like to go back to Chinatown with my family to eat in another Chinese restaurant and go shopping in London.” Zuki, U4