Haringey Talk at Bruce Castle Museum (25 Mar 2015)
Rosa Kurowska (Project Coordinator) from the Ming-Ai (London) Institute provided a multi-media presentation regarding the British Chinese Workforce Heritage (BCWH) project. As part of this three year (2012-15) Heritage Lottery Funded research project, Bruce Castle Museum is hosting Our Good Fortune exhibition which captures the history and working lives of Chinese people in Haringey (12 January - 5th July 2015).
Friends of Bruce Castle listened to the historic and geographic beginnings of Chinese culture in Britain relating to Liverpool docks, Limehouse in East London, Soho (Chinatown) in central London, and Haringey. Most people didn't realise that the original Chinatown was hosted in Poplar in East London, before it got destroyed during the London blitz of WW2. Early service professions were highlighted, namely catering, seafaring and the provision of laundries. Chinese restaurants are not the only growing phenomena in Britain over the last few decades, as Chinese medicine and acupuncture is now well established in Britain, particularly in London and Haringey. Although today's practitioners are keen to have Chinese medicine certified and recognised within the NHS.
Some local stories were shared (via interview and video) relating to Chinese culture, such as Raymond Yip from the Haringey Chinese Community Centre. Second generation Chinese are keen for their British born children not to lose sight of their Eastern heritage, so there is a custom of sending children to Haringey Chinese School on Saturdays. They can learn different dialects; engage in Chinese culture and values, as well as integrating into the local community.
These Bruce Castle talks explore culture, education, employment, and the exploration of diverse communities living in Haringey. Therefore, Ming-Ai (London) Institute would like to thank Deborah Hedgecock and Robert Waite for all their help and support over the last three years with the British Chinese Workforce Heritage project.