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Memories of China: British Chinese Workforce Heritage exhibition, Horniman Museum

On a bitterly cold evening of Thursday 15 January I attended this elegant event and ate some dim sum provided by the Good Earth restaurant. They could not have chosen a prettier and more apt venue than the Horniman, where we are members. A little disappointed at the display as there was not quite enough boards or items on exhibition. The TV screen showing 5 films about Chinese immigrants working in London was also tiny. I think my TV is bigger. But I am quite glad that I made it because I was meeting like-minded professionals. I am not the only bloody immigrant in this country. There’s loads of us! And we’ve been here for two hundred years.

We watched the speech by Li Chung Wen from, or Chung Wen Li if you are English speaking. She is from Taiwan hence the spelling being not hanyu pinyin. Interestingly Chung Wen means Chinese Language, so her name means Chinese language, which I spotted and talked to her about. But she must be sick of people saying the same thing every time she meets someone, so was non-plussed.

It also piqued my budding interest in film-making after I watched the 5 films. The highlight of the display would be the beautifully handpainted paper lanterns suspended from the Horniman’s ceiling into the double storey foyer space. Also impressive was the halal dim sum! Who would’ve thought eh? No event involving Chinese people would be without food, for that would be an utter disgrace. No event involving English people would be without wine, for that would be terribly unPC. So in all, with white wine and dim sum and green tea, it was a jolly evening and event. Is there any Chinese immigrant out there with a story to tell? I may be able to make a film about you.