Chengyu

To mark Chinese Language Day this blog from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections and Dr Fang Zong, Research Assistant for the Chinese Culture Gallery, shines a spotlight on some of the Chengyu from Manchester Museum’s collection. The museum has a wonderful little group of chengyu deposited in the 1950s by Prof William Hare Newell (1922-2013),…

Wu Zetian, part 2: Her-story

“International Women’s Day is an occasion to celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment but also to critically reflect on those accomplishments and strive for a greater momentum towards gender equality worldwide. It is a day to recognize the extraordinary acts of women and to stand together, as a united force,…

Wu Zetian, China’s One and Only Female Emperor

This post is the first part of a blog about Wu Zetian, China’s one and only female emperor; part two will follow on 8th March to celebrate International Women’s Day. Historically, great female leaders have been relatively rare: Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, and Catherine the Great may be familiar names but since the inheritance of…

Peace Apples on Silent Night

In the final blog of 2021, Fang Zong, Chinese Culture Gallery Project Assistant, shares her insights about the increasingly popular Chinese tradition of giving apples on Christmas Eve. An earlier version of this post originally featured in the Museum’s 2020 Advent Calendar. Manchester Museum’s collections include plenty of apples. As well as the Botany collection…

Twin Cities

This guest post from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections and Fang Zong, Chinese Culture Gallery Project Assistant, reflects on the relationship between Manchester and Wuhan. You may or may not be aware that Wuhan is twinned with Manchester and as Bryan and Fang describe, the relationship has been particularly beneficial in light of the…

Encountering the phoenix (and other things)

In this guest blog, Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, Naomi Kashiwagi, Student Engagement Coordinator, and Fang Zong, Chinese Culture Gallery Project Assistant, provide an update on the consultation work for the Chinese Culture Gallery. Having previously connected with a group of Chinese students online, in this post we hear about a workshop that took…

A British Guianese Woman in Manchester

To mark Black History Month, this blog from Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections, shares the story of a Black woman, Miss Dora Obermuller, who came to live in Manchester from British Guiana during the 1930s. The story began when a member of the public, Mr Leonard Womack, contacted Manchester Museum to ask about some…

A Story of Storied Translation

International Translation Day takes place annually on 30 September and, since 2005, has served as: “an opportunity to pay tribute to the work of language professionals, which plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development and strengthening world peace and security”. To mark International Translation Day 2021,…

Mooncakes and Rabbits: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival

Today, Tuesday 21st September, is the Mid-Autumn Festival in China which, along with Chinese New Year, Dragon Boat Festival, and Qing Ming Festival, is one of the most important festivals in the Chinese calendar. In this post, Bryan Sitch and Fang Zong describe some of the stories associated with this festival, also known as the…

Travelling Stories

Back in late 2018 Buxton Museum and Art Gallery invited expressions of interest from museums and galleries wishing to acquire objects from a large miscellaneous educational collection from the former Derbyshire and Derby Schools Library Service. The opportunity to acquire Chinese objects from this collection was of considerable interest to us at Manchester Museum as,…

Chinese Valentine’s Day, The Double Seventh Festival

To mark Chinese Valentine’s Day Bryan Sitch, our Depty Head of Collections, and Fang Zong, Chinese Gallery Project Assistant, have teamed up to share the fascinating story behind the celebration and explain why it is also known as the Magpie Festival. Magpies have lots of superstition attached to them and they often get something of…