Oriental Museum C2

On Friday 20th January, we went to the Oriental Museum in Durham. During this visit, we were able to step foot into India, Japan and China.

First of all, we set upon the journey to India – where we learnt about the story of Rama and Sita. As we listened to the story of the prince, princess and evil king, some of us dressed up as the characters and we acted it out. Even though the evil king managed to trick Sita (with the help of the golden deer) the prince and his brother managed to rescue her with the help of a monkey. They killed the evil king and became the new rulers of the land, where they were welcomed back with diva lamps. To show our understanding of the trip to India, we moulded clay balls into our very own diva lamps. Some were shaped into ovals, tear drops and circles. We even engraved patterns into them.

On our arrival to Japan, we were greeted by a merchant. We thought he was a samurai but we realised there were four different types of people in those times. Even though we drink tea in England, the drinking of tea in Japan is a big celebration. Some tea sets are over 300 years old. The tea we saw and smelt was green. They showed us a really impressive tea set including: a whisk, a spoon, a bowl, jars and a cup on a long stick. Some of it was made out of bamboo. We talked through the process of how they would serve tea. Some of the children dressed in kimonos to show the traditions of Japan and we knelt just as they do.

After lunch we took the trip to China, where we listened to the story of the Chinese dragon – Nian. He kept coming to a village every year to eat all the people, animals and destroying the land so people decided to hide when that day arrived. But on one occasion an old man decided to stay (even though everybody warned him) and when Nian arrived he noticed something very strange about this one house. It was red! Nian didn’t like red but when he approached the house, surrounded by Chinese lanterns (also red), he got a big shock when fireworks blew up. So every year since, the villagers put up lanterns with the colour red and set off fireworks to keep Nian away. Nobody has seen him since. We designed our very own Chinese lanterns to help keep Nian away,

It was a great day and we would like to thank everyone at the museum for their help.