Recently, a journey back in time to the Song Dynasty, inspired by Dreams of Splendor of the Eastern Capital, was launched in Dulwich Zhuhai.

It was the 7th DHZH Chinese Cultural Festival successfully held on the afternoon of 23rd February. The Chinese Department, together with student and staff actors and volunteers, arranged a series of activities for the Dulwich Zhuhai community to experience the culture of the Song Dynasty, and capped off the event with a fantastic original stage play.


The Chinese culture, after thousands of years of evolution, reached its peak in the Song dynasty, according to Chen Yinke, the renowned modern scholar. Elegance is the manifestation that a culture has reached its height. Themed "Elegant Song, Memories of Splendor", this year's Chinese Cultural Festival took us back to the unique and vibrant Song Dynasty.

The student-led traditional culture bazaar, with traditional tea ceremonies, flower arrangements, sugar paintings, and fashion show in traditional costumes, were well received by students, teachers, parents and staff.

Among all the stalls, the one offering Chinese calligraphy was the most popular. In the scent of ink, students and teachers expressed their wishes for life with gentle calligraphy strokes.


The food stall organised by Friend of Dulwich (FOD) was a great hit with everyone. Handmade dumplings, mugwort cakes, sugar-coated haws, and chicken cookies evoked everyone’s fond memories of traditional Chinese food; mixed cereal cakes, fruit bowls, and wolfberry and white fungus soup combined healthiness with tastiness.


The day’s activity culminated in a stage play produced by students and teachers.

As the curtain lights suddenly dimmed, thunder and lightning struck on the stage, transforming the Dulwich Zhunhai campus into Bianjing City, the ancient capital of the Northern Song Dynasty. The audience, along with four student emcees, followed the scholar Meng Yuanlao to travel through time, witnessing the rise and fall of the Dynasty in laughter and tears.


"It was like watching a brilliant TV series. The actors' exquisite interpretation and the elaborate choreography immersed me in the story, and I couldn't come out of it for a long time. I felt what the characters felt and could not help but cry in several scenes. "

——Laura X (Y12)

"This is my second DHZH Chinese Cultural Festival. This year, I went from being an audience to the behind-the-scenes crew, and it was totally different. We were a little hesitant when we first chose the story, but in the end, seeing the viewers' response, I knew we had made the right decision. Director Xu and the writers made the whole play coherent, and the actors performed with dedication, creating an immersive experience for the audience. In addition, based on last years’ experience, we deployed two monitors for real-time translation for our teachers to understand the lines and the plot. I am already looking forward to next year's event."

——Ronnie W (Y12)

"I was very impressed with this year’s program. The actors' emotionally charged performances were superb, especially the students who played Li Qingzhao in different chapters, bringing out her uniquely feminine character that combined softness with strength, confidence with gentleness. The solo dancers' poise and meticulous movements were mesmerising. Full of the energy to take control of one's destiny, yet so light and soft -- this is the beauty and power that belongs to Li Qingzhao and all women."

——Felicity C (Y11)


Preparation for this year's cultural festival had started in as early as November 2022. Unlike previous events, this year's festival incorporated all the performances together in one historical drama. External expert, Ms Xu Yong, a member of the Chinese Musical Theatre Association, was invited to be the overall producer and director. The students allocated the work and the team, rehearsed the play, ordered costumes, revised the script, made props, and shopped for materials, etc., and finally presented this amazing school original drama play.

"At the curtain call, I bowed with the entire crew amidst the enthusiastic applause and cheers from the audience. But I have more people to thank. I bowed to the stage director, the choreographer, the props team, and everyone behind the scenes. During the preparation, we have polished the script and the program over and over, pushed for the logo design, recruited actors, and coordinated the costumes and props. We have experienced the agony of being stuck in a creative bottleneck, the joy of having a sudden inspiration, the debates of different opinions, and the nervousness and awkwardness during the first rehearsal. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will always remain in the hearts of everyone who worked on stage and behind the scenes. "

——Maggie W (Y10)

"It was an honor to participate in my first Chinese Cultural Festival at Dulwich Zhuhai as one of the lead actors, scriptwriters, and student directors. There were challenges and hardships, but what I felt more was the concerted efforts of my fellow students and our success. For me, the experience was a bit like the "three realms of life" described by the Chinese scholar Wang Guowei: we rehearsed repeatedly to present a perfect performance, and both the staff and student actors were on the verge of giving up more than once. But under the professional and patient guidance of the director, the students gradually found a tacit understanding and their acting became increasingly exquisite, resulting in a wonderful performance for all students, teachers, parents and staff. "

——Tony L (Y10)



Rooted in Zhuhai for over 12 years, Dulwich Zhuhai is committed to cultivating young talents with an international perspective and with the global citizenship competencies, creating a multicultural experience while always emphasising respect for and inheritance of the native culture.

“Aspire to the way, rely on moral character, depend on benevolence, and indulge in the arts.” The teachings of sage Confucius have been embodied and reflected in every year’s DHZH Chinese Cultural Festival.

A big round of applause to all the student and staff for their hard work and dedication to this year’s event. You have set the bar very high for next year!