The three Beijing Rotary Clubs joined for the Rotary Red Lantern Banquet 2017, on Saturday 25 February 2017.
It was supposed to be a ball, a charity, something like that. It became then a “banquet”, unfortunately not as copious as a Chinese full blast banquet (you hate it or you love it).
Setting was the Four Seasons Hotel, the ballroom decoration was pretty nice.
As far as the food was concerned, some kind of high-level Chinese dishes, that means large plates, little content and afterwards need to head for some late night snacks. Some tried to eat enough of the bread. Some (including me) went for the nice red wine, just to get high and forget about food. Our club felt squeezed in a faraway corner.
I am black-listed
I did complain about the logistics: a video shooting that was lousy and useless, and blocked access to the raffle and auction prizes. No reference to the projects we are backing. Lighting positioned too low. Some questionable speech (common for most balls actually). Auctions with little appeal, take too much time and fail to excite the audience, up to the point one simply misses the relevant auction items. And more.
As I have been through a number of balls and other events, I know what it takes and I was unhappy with the issues. Good I did not invite my VIPs as I did for other balls.
Yeah, complaining got me shot down so all my pictures as well as of other “complaining parties” were removed, so, I mostly have the pics I got myself and the ones I selected. You won’t see anything of us in the “official photo gallery” (whatever that means).
Balls are a challenge
One can even question the purpose to organize a ball. It demands a huge investment in volunteering and a semi-military approach and precision, but with often too few returns. One could simply require club members to spit up some money and cancel the ball. More efficient. There are too many balls in Beijing vying for attention and sponsorship. Then paying big bucks to eat a so-so dinner, no dancing, no fun music – next time: no thanks. I even have no idea what our “banquet” brought as benefits.
Well at least we had our Rotaractors acting great as volunteers and nice people at our table.
Some updates on Rotary in Beijing and China
Rotary in action in Beijing in May, a number of events to mention here.
We have now a new Interact Club, in the International School of Beijing. The Club is sponsored by the Beijing Rotary Chaoyang Club. The Dulwich College Beijing also has an Interact Club, sponsored since 2007 by the Beijing Rotary Club.
Also to mention: Dalian has a new Rotaract Club for students and young professionals age 18 – 30, sponsored by Rotary Club of Dalian. On 20 May the Rotary Club of Dalian will celebrate one year!
Changchun also has a Rotaract Club now.
Rotary lunch 9 May
I was the Sergeant-at-Arms, once more.
We had as speaker Dr. Zhang Tiejun, Hebei Children’s Hospital talking about the GOL Hypo Project. Hebei Children’s Hospital is our long term partner in the Gift of Life project. Originally a heart surgery program for underprivileged children, GOL has from 2015 supported the surgery of six children suffering from hypospadias.
According to Dr. Zhang hypospadias is not a rare condition in China. About 50,000 boys are born each year with symptoms. The rate is 1/300 and rising. Treatment often involves multiple and specialized surgeries. Hebei Children’s Hospital dispatches pediatric urologists to rural areas to examine children with defects, educating families about seeking medical treatment and advice from experts. They also provide clinical training to rural county surgeons. With the implementation of the GOL-Hypo project, the hospital now has 6 surgeons. Helped by the deployment of a medical screening van in villages, the number of successful treatments has been growing by 20% annually in the past two years.
To know more see the previous post: http://www.beijing1980.com/2017/04/13/hypospadias-surgeries-need-support/
Our club is organizing a dinner next Tuesday 16 May to celebrate the 1000th Rotary meeting in Beijing since 1996. I will miss it being out of town. Location: Italian Restaurant “La Dolce Vita” in Sanlitun, behind 3.3 Building
Social Rotaract evening in Legend Beer
On Friday 12 May our Rotaractor Vasco invited us for a drink as he will leave us soon.
I joined along with Rotarian Sven.
As usual a lively evening, lots of beer and Jägermeister.
See the pics of the evening, part of the group.
As every Tuesday we had our Rotary Beijing Club lunch on 18 April in Kempinski Hotel.
Our Rotaractors Max and Georgiana gave their report of the RYLA event in Shanghai, see previous post: http://www.beijing1980.com/2017/04/06/rotaract-beijing-starts-2017/
Once again I was Sergeant-at-Arms.
Rtn Monica Dierks, Cultural Differences
As speaker we had Rotarian Monica. She is the head of German Phoenix Information Consulting (Beijing) Ltd. Monica travels between China and Europe (read: Brussels!), bridging gaps between companies or people of China and European countries, helping them better understand each other. She insists speaking Chinese when she is in China, and she loves trying new things. After all, speaking the local language is extremely helpful. However, cultural interaction is about much more than language skills. It is also about adapting to the culture.
Monica is the author of a book called “Cultural Differences Between East and West”. Monica talked about three things: 1. What’s culture? 2. What’s intercultural communication? Who can navigate us through the cultural iceberg?
Kempinski as usual
Our Rotary Beijing Club lunch 11 April was of course in Kempinski Hotel. Personally I am pretty happy with their food, creative and varied. My only complaint: I always end up eating too much.
Those who complain about the food are mostly those who have a very narrow culinary experience.
Our Rotaractor Max also joined.
Speaker: Mr. Ted Plafker
Ted Plafker is currently the correspondent with the Economist. He is well known and respected.
He has been reporting on China since 1989 for a variety of publications including the South China Morning Post, the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe and, most recently, the Economist. He is the author of the book ‘Doing Business in China: How to Profit in the World’s Fastest Growing Market.’ In his speech, he drew on his rich experience and gave a stimulating tour d’horizon of the current economic and political situation.
Rotaract Beijing West: one year already
Rotaract Beijing West Club one year anniversary party was finally held in Legend Beer, gongti xi lu on 20 April
Our first idea was Homeplate (Sanlitun) but they could not accommodate our 30+ group.
We had Rotaractors from both clubs: the Birthday Boys and Girls from Wudaokou with their President Kien, the Beijing Rotaract Club (Sanlitun) with President Peter as well as several Rotarians from our Beijing Rotary Club.
Legend Beer did not disappoint
Indeed, we managed to have a great deal for our group. Most went for the Pork Hamburger, also my favorite.
Renaat Morel from Morel’s Restaurant also came to taste the hamburger and approved!
We started around 7 pm and we went well beyond 10 pm.
A very successful party with so many nationalities I will not even try to list them.