Earlier this month we had the pleasure of hosting students from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School for a tour of the Chung Collection. These students are in International Baccalaureate Mandarin 11 and the visit was arranged by their student teacher, UBC Faculty of Education student Erica Huang.
The students were divided into two groups: each group had a tour of the Chung Collection, during which they practiced their Mandarin by completing a worksheet about each case in the collection. They also had a Mandarin language session with our colleagues from the Chinese Canadian Stories project. The students examined letters written in the Toishanese dialect (facsimiles made from the Yip Sang digital collection of letters, held by the City of Vancouver Archives) and worked with CCS researcher Joanne Poon and archivist Lilly Li to interpret them. Reading these letters is particularly challenging, even for Mandarin readers, because of the older style of handwriting and the specific nature of the dialect. In the photograph below, there are three Churchill students working with Joanne on interpreting one of the letters. If you are interested in Joanne’s research with the Chinese Canadian Stories project, you can read her research diaries on their website.
Thank you to our friends at Chinese Canadian Stories and to the students and teachers at Churchill for coming to visit us!
Photos are courtesy of the Chinese Canadian Stories project.