Last Saturday was windy and cold but 120 members of the Southside Chinese Community, young and old but mostly young, visited Dalgan.
Because of the large number they were supposed to be divided into two groups , with one going to Tara first and the other proceeding to Dalgan. However windy conditions on Tara meant both groups arrived in Dalgan at about the same time and had to be divided into four groups of 30 so they could, in turn, take the tour of the chapel, Chinese Room, Exhibition Hall and audio-visual room before going outside on a Nature Walk. Keeping the four groups moving, with time for lunch in between, kept everyone busy.
Most of the children, aged 4 to 15, were born in Ireland and attend local schools. However their parents’ English was not quite as good and for most of them the visit to Dalgan was their introduction to a church and Irish involvement in China. Fortunately we had a few Chinese speakers available to expand the explanations.
The parents and teachers were delighted to see the collection of Chinese artefacts and signs of effort to understand the Chinese culture and situation. The younger ones were impressed that some Irish people could speak Chinese and they liked the wide corridors and open spaces. Dalgan was built to send people to China, now it becoming a bridge for Chinese people to integrate into Ireland