SACU Information

Here are some news and information stories, some from SACU's China Eye magazine sent out to members. If you have would like to publicise an event or promote an organization please use our contact form to let us know.


31st January 2017 to 5th February 2017 - 8PM
Price: Preview £5, Standard £12, Concession £10. Prices available at box office, email or via telephone.
Venue: Main House
Writer and director: Xinxi Du
'I love this country, but who loves me?

Based on the true event of a great Chinese writer Lao She , who was given the name of 'People's Artist' but later criticised as a reactionary during the Cultural Revolution period in 1966. All the sudden changes in his family and the society around him seemed ridiculous but maybe not that unexplainable. While Lao She's character became his own reality, and we construct a story to tell, the history remains a mystery. 'The fire sinks, and I'm ready to depart.' Performed in Chinese with English subtitles.

Further details here .

The Meridian Society's Chinese New Year Celebration

Sunday 5th February

The Meridian Society invites you to join us for our Chinese New Year celebration. Firstly, we will be going for a Chinese new year lunch at The Bamboo Flute where owner, Guo Yue, will be our host with delicious food and good company. Afterwards, we will be going to BFI Southbank for the docudrama 'Tricks on the Dead' about the Chinese Labour Corps and a discussion with the director Jordan Patterson led by our past director Peng Wenlan. The two parts can be booked separately or together.

12.45 for 1pm at The Bamboo Flute (google maps for directions)
3:30 for 3.45pm at BFI Southbank (website for directions)

There are still a few spaces in both venues but numbers are limited so please e-mail us at to reserve your place. The final deadline for booking is Sunday 22nd January with payment as soon as possible and no later than Friday 27th January. Priority will be given to current Meridian Society members, supporters who book for both events, then on a 'first come, first served' basis.

Film: Tricks on the Dead

In the years following the 1911 Xinhai revolution in China, the country was rapidly emerging into international affairs for the first time. The First World War erupted in 1914 and by 1916 Allied powers had suffered devastating casualties. As a result British, French and Chinese states formed agreements to send almost 140,000 Chinese labourers to the battlefields of Europe. 85,000 of this newly formed ‘Chinese Labour Corps’ were secretly transported across Canada in locked CPR trains during the racist Chinese Head Tax period. They were then shipped to Europe where thousands died clearing munitions and the dead on the Western Front. Zhang Yan, a young history student from the same Shandong villages as the labourers in 1916, sets out to discover what really happened to the men of the Chinese Labour Corps. Following the diary notes of Gu Xingqing, a Chinese interpreter in WWI, he travels three continents to uncover Gu's journey with the British controlled labourers.

Chinese-Canadian Coproduction 2015
Directed by Jordan Patterson

Ticket Prices

Members of The Meridian Society:
lunch £25, film £10.65 (£8.35 concessions*), combined £35 (£32.50)
Associates (members of SACU and family members of Meridian Society members):
lunch £27.50, film £10.65 (£8.35 concessions*), combined £37.50 (£35)

lunch £30, film £10.65 (£8.35 concessions*), combined £40 (£37.50)
* concessions for the film are available to seniors, students, unwaged and disabled (evidence required on the day).
Members of BFI pay lower prices and are advised to buy their own tickets.

Places will be confirmed on receipt of payment. Payment should therefore be made as soon as possible and no later than Friday 27th January.

Please send your cheque made payable to ‘The Meridian Society’ to: The Treasurer, 5 Mildmay Street, London N1 4AB. Alternatively if you wish to pay by direct bank transfer please contact us and we will forward our account details.

Michael Lindsay

SACU VP Jenny Clegg was in Dunhuang recently along with Jim Lindsay, son of Michael Lindsay who was mentioned by President Xi Jinping as an example of Anglo-Chinese support and understanding when he visited the UK last year.

“Lord Michael Lindsay, the late member of the House of Lords of the UK Parliament, took an active part in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, helping China modify telecommunication equipment under extremely difficult circumstances and risking his life to deliver scarce supplies such as medicines and communication equipment to the Chinese army.” ( Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC)

Jim, an Australian, set up a website introducing Bold Plum’s (his mother’s) book, titled Bold Plum: With the Guerrillas in China's War Against Japan which Jenny says “has some great material countering claims that only the Kuomintang fought against the Japanese.”

Bold Plum also tells her story on YouTube .

Chinese Festivals

China, Chinese New Year is celebrated as the Spring Festival and is the most important festival in China. Each year is associated with an animal: the full sequence of 12 years is in this order; Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit (or Hare), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (or Goat), Monkey, Rooster (or Cock), Dog and lastly the Pig (or Boar).

2017 is the Year of the Rooster (Cockrel)

Major Chinese Festivals in 2017 are:

28 JanuaryChinese New Year
4 AprilQing Ming
30 MayDragon Boat Festival
28 AugustDouble Seven
1 OctoberNational Day
4 OctoberMid Autumn Festival
8 OctoberChong Yang

There are two, ‘Golden Week’ holidays in 2017; the first one around the Spring Festival in late January/early February and the second will follow National Day in October.

*Recommended book on Chinese festivals are:-

  1. 'Folk customs at traditional Chinese festivals' compiled by Qi Xing, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing 1988.
  2. 'Chinese traditional festivals' by Marie-Luise Latsch, New World Press, Beijing 1984
  3. (Mainly for children, but interesting for adults as well), 'Origins of Chinese festivals' compiled by Goh Pei Ki, Asiapac, Singapore 2001 and 'Fun with Chinese Festivals' by Tan Huay Peng, Federal Publications, Singapore, 2000.

Other Organisations

Asia House

Holds talks and exhibitions about the countries of asia in general.

63 New Cavendish Street, London. W1G 7LP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7307 5445

The Chinese Arts Centre

The CAC acts as the national agency to promote contemporary Chinese art and interpret Chinese culture. It holds exhibitions, organises artist residency schemes, national education programmes, seminars and training events and acts as an agency for performers.

The Chinese Arts Centre housed in the Market Buildings in the Northern Quarter of Manchester city centre on Thomas Street-in between Shudehill and High Street and not far from the Printworks and Arndale Centre. It features a gallery, a Chinese teahouse, an education and resource suite, a souvenir shop and a project space/studio. The building is fully accessible.

The shop offers a unique range of goods influenced by traditional and contemporary art and culture. An extensive range of art books, catalogues and magazines are now in stock. They include Art Review, Art Monthly, That's Art, Art Asia Pacific, Frieze, Art Forum etc.

The Chinese teahouse is a calm quiet zone with an ever-changing good selection of high quality teas to choose form. The CAC offers hire and hospitality facilities. The Gallery and Education Suite are available for hire. In the evenings, the whole centre may be hired. Catering and entertainment facilities are also available to suit any occasion. Contact or telephone 0161 832 7280

The Chinese Arts Centre offers a varied range of display and learning resources to schools to help demonstrate cultural traditions and pastimes. They include Lion heads and Chinese opera costumes. Further information please telephone 0161 832 7271. Free Gallery Tours are available for groups who book in advance-maximum group size is 20.

Chinese Arts Centre, Market Buildings, 7 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1EU. Tel 0161 832 7271. Website .

Museum of East Asian Art, Bath

This museum is housed in a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse and has one of the most extensive collections of East Asian art outside of London with almost 2,000 items dating from about 5,000 B.C. It received a grant of £41,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund which helped towards converting the Museum's third floor into a multi-purpose education room. (further details and bookings please call 01225 464640, e mail and website is Museum of East Asian Art .

With almost 2,000 exhibits, this museum has one of the most extensive collections of East Asian art outside of London. It was founded in 1990, by Brian McElney OBE who practised law in Hong Kong. It has some of the best bamboo carvings in Europe and a fine comprehensive collection of jade. Particular attention is given to the museum's educational role with special exhibitions, an active events programme and also new publications designed to encourage a greater understanding of East Asian art and cultures.

The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm and Sunday from 12.00 noon to 5.00 pm. Admission: £4 adults, concessions £3.50, students £3.00 and under 12's £1.00. Under 6's free. Family ticket, £9.00.

The Museum regularly holds children's workshops (with special activities during the half term holidays), museum tours, Mah Jongg evenings and other events during the week. All events are by advance booking only. Please contact the museum for details of events at ""

Yorkshire Chinese Brush Painting Society

With its disciplined approach and yet very versatile possibilities, Chinese brush painting holds exciting potential for many artists and budding artists. Success depends on having the right equipment and a willingness to learn the fundamental brushstrokes and basic techniques such as holding the brush in the correct way.

We meet at the memorial hall in Pool-in-Wharfedale.

For more details please go to the Chinese brush painting web site .

London Chinese Brush Painter Group

If you would like to learn more about traditional Chinese brush painting and have a go at this fascinating art yourself, you might want to join our group. We meet monthly to paint and discuss ideas and usually have a Chinese artist to tutor us. There is a membership fee and a charge for the workshops you attend. Details on web site web site

Yellow Earth Theatre

Yellow Earth Theatre produces performances and runs workshops for people of East Asian backgrounds. Yellow Earth will continue to run workshops and outreach and education performances throughout the year. They are always happy to hear from readers of any events and projects that may be running. To contact them and to obtain details of their programme contact Yellow Earth Theatre, 2nd Floor, Rupert St., London W1D 6DE. Tel 020 7734 5988 or marketing tel 020 7287 3141. Website "Yellow Earth" .

Hosting for Overseas Students (HOST)

HOST exists to provide some of the thousands of international students at universities and colleges in the UK with the opportunity to spend a weekend, or a few days at festival times such as Christmas or Chinese New Year, in private homes. The purpose is to enable them to explore the culture and way of life in a local community, feel at home for a few days away from the campus, and to see a different part of the country in the company of people who live there.

Our hosts are all volunteers - individuals, couples and families - who welcome the occasional guest from another country, learning from them and sharing their lives briefly with them. Sometimes lasting friendships are made.

We have nearly 2000 hosts across the whole of Britain, but are constantly needing to find more. Some 60% of the students applying for HOST invitations are Chinese, and would be pleased to visit hosts already interested or having connections in China. Such links with people in this country can have an invaluable influence on the students' perceptions of Britain, and the attitude with which they return home.

For more information please visit Host UK web site or call 020 7254 3039. Thank you.

Hosting of young Chinese students also required by The China HSK UK Committee. The Committee is looking for native English-speaking families to rent bedrooms-or full board to Chinese GCSE or A level students during their boarding school half term or vacation. Homes in greater London or south England are needed now.

Contact: Tina Chen, China HSK UK Committee, 124 Euston Road, London NW1 2AL, tel: 020 7388 8818 email

Intern China

The Intern China arranges internships for people to go and live in China so that they can learn something of the language and culture.

See Also

Meridian Society   Membership organisation based in London with similar aims to SACU, regular events and tours to China.
Chinatown   A large U.K. site with background cultural information and events information.
Durham Oriental Museum   Lectures and events centred on the museum at Durham.
Chinese Music   Information about performing artists and musicians of all kinds available for events in the UK.
Manchester Arts Centre   Premier centre for Chinese art in the Northern England.
ArtChinese   Online showcase of contemporary Chinese art in the UK.
The London Jing Kun Opera Association   The only society in the UK that promotes both Jing and Kun Opera.
Needham Institute   The Research Institute founded by Dr Joseph Needham (who also founded SACU) is dedicated to continuing his work on Science and Civilisation in China.
Chinese language and culture forum   Discuss topics of the day with a large online community worldwide. Wide selections of topics from language to politics.

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