Visit the Seniors’ Center with us!

We are preparing a volunteer outing to a senior center on May 28th. Visiting the senior center is one of the most splendid volunteer events held by Lotus. By joining us you can show your international community service by showing your love and care to seniors. It is also a wonderful experience to participate in the Confucian ideal of filial piety. You can find more information about our volunteer excursions on our website, and read about our most recent visit to the seniors’ center.

The detailed arrangement are as follows:

When: 8:00am—2:00pm on May 28th, 2011
Where:Suite 1201, C#XiWu Plaza, 12 Suzhou St. Haidian District
Who: Lotus Students, staff, host families, interns and volunteers

We will go to the senior center at 8:00 am, departing from Lotus Beijing office. The caring program will start at about 9:00a.m. until 12:00 pm. The program and includes caring activities such as singing, dancing, Chinese Cheirapsis, balloon games, holding a birthday party and listening Senior’s personal stories. From 12:00pm. to 2:00pm., we will return to the Lotus Beijing office to have lunch and share personal feelings about the experience.

If you would like to join us or you have something you’d like to perform for the seniors, please email us at before 6:00 pm. on May 26th (this Thursday).

Chinese Painting Class

Last weekend Lotus hosted a traditional Chinese painting class for students. There aren’t too many students here during the winter, so we beefed up our numbers by inviting some Lotus volunteers from Beijing Normal University. Our guest blogger, Doug, was there as well. Some of the Lotus staff were working overtime this weekend preparing for the summer programs, so they took turns joining us when they needed a break.

I’m a programmer, so I don’t know much about art. I do know that this was a lot easier than our calligraphy lesson in December. I also thought it was curious that we sometimes mixed the paint, which I think was oil-based, with water (on the brush) in order to get a water-colour-like effect when painting. We painted everything, fruit, a Lotus flower, the famous panda, and an opera mask.

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Calligraphy Lesson for Lotus Students

In December, Lotus organized a Chinese calligraphy class for students currently living and studying in Beijing. There aren’t many students during the winter so those of us who attended got lots of personal attention from the teacher. There was a student from Australia, the US and myself, from Canada. One of Lotus’ Beijing staff also joined us for part of the lesson. Quite a good representation!

The character we worked on was “heart” (心). Ms. Jin, our teacher, explained that we start with this seemingly simple character because its simplicity helps the student learn the balance that is required in Chinese calligraphy.  Ms. Jin, with her dry sense of humour, encouraged us to strive to make our calligraphy beautiful. As you can see from the photo below of my own calligraphy, I didn’t quite achieve the goal!

This calligraphy lesson was a great opportunity for me. One of the reasons I chose to learn Chinese is because of the writing system. Both because of its linguistic uniqueness and because of the beauty of written Chinese.

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November Senior Center Visit

Lotus, along with several of its host families, volunteers, and students, made it’s most recent trip to a senior’s center last November. We put on a talent show for the seniors, which included songs, a poetry recital, and live music. We also had a small birthday celebration for the elders.

After the performance was over and the birthday cake was gone, Lotus volunteers made the rounds to visit residents who weren’t able to attend the event. We also distributed gifts of moisturizing cream to all the residents to get them through the cold, dry winter months in more comfort.

Below are some photos of the visit for your enjoyment.

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