As part of the 'Leeds is my Home' project, pupils of Leeds Chinese Community School have been sharing information about how Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in the City and also reflecting on the history of Leeds' Chinese community.
In 2017 the University of Leeds and Leeds Central Library are inviting residents of Leeds’ Chinese Community to contribute to an online exhibition, 'Leeds is my Home' which seeks to explore their relationship with the City and share their stories.
Leeds Libraries have a fantastic archive of historic photographs of Leeds housed on Leodis (http://www.leodis.net/) but gaps in this archive and others kept by Leeds Central Library mean that the stories of various sectors of the community, including the City’s Chinese residents, are underrepresented.
Working with staff and pupils at Leeds Chinese Community School we're exploring Leeds’ historic archive before creating digital stories on the Yarn platform which integrate these artefacts with participants own stories, memories, images and film.
Despite these gaps in the archive, various projects over the years (involving community organisations such as Leeds Chinese Community School) have sought to highlight Chinese culture in Leeds and to make the resources stemming from the projects publically available online.
Our aim is to use the Yarn storytelling platform to promote conversations between community groups and Leeds libraries to share memories, ideas and reflections. The story passages which follow have all been contributed by pupils at Leeds Chinese Community School.
I feel that being able to speak both Mandarin and English is really beneficial to me because those are 2 of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
Obviously, being able to speak them is really helpful as they are considered some of the most hardest and widely spoken languages, so knowing both of them at a young age is really useful. Since I live in the UK, i have to speak english a lot, and when have to talk to my family, i have to speak mandarin. so being able to speak both is really useful to me.
At one of our workshops, pupils created artwork and demonstrated their writing abilities in Mardarin and Cantonese to share information about Mid-Autumn Festival and their thoughts on living in Leeds. We learnt that, for the majority of pupils we spoke to, the festival is quite a low-key celebration. Everyone seemed to express a liking for mooncakes!