The Chinese Association provides a community space in Limehouse for the local Chinese community to join activities, be active, and just be happy with friends.
At the Chinese Association of Tower Hamlets, the local Chinese community can enjoy a slice of China. This includes learning Chinese Medicine, doing calligraphy, playing Ping Pong, or just chatting with friends in Cantonese.
Sailors Palace in Limehouse, where the Chinese Association is based, appears quintessentially British from the outside. However, upon entering the building a very Chinese space is revealed. You will find Chinese newspapers, posters in Chinese advertising events, and Chinese paintings on the walls. Even the hand sanitiser, teapots, and cardboard boxes have Chinese characters on them.
On Tuesdays, this space comes alive as the Chinese Association opens it’s doors to local Chinese residents. Older Chinese Tower Hamlets residents as well as newer generations can participate in classes on Chinese Medicine, line dancing, and calligraphy.
Calligraphy is by far the most popular. As they catch up with classmates before the class begins, attendees proudly pin up their calligraphy work from the past week onto notice boards around the room. Showing off the work they have completed.
Equally popular, though requiring a bit more energy, a Ping Pong room is hidden away down a flight of stairs. More active members of the community play for hours against each other as the floor quickly becomes littered with wayward ping pong balls.
Tower Hamlets has over 10,000 Chinese residents, totalling 3.3% of the population and the highest number in England and Wales after the City of London and Cambridge. Once the home for London’s first Chinatown, for the many Chinese residents of our Borough, this space in Limehouse is essential to the community.
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