The Year of the Dog was a long year of familiar patterns set to a frenetic pace, perfectly encapsulating the energy of the Dog. And that applied to the progress of Cultural Keys as much as it did the rest of the world.
As we are now halfway through this years’ Spring Festival celebrations, we wanted to take a quick look at some of the successes of the past year and what CK got up to while giving thanks to everyone who joined us for each of those important moments!
March – Opening the new CK Culture Boutique in Tongzhou
The start of the Year of the Dog was a little turbulent when we were told that 258 Mall, the then-home of our popular little gift store, would be closing down for ‘renovations’. Knowing the situation in Beijing, we were unsure whether this renovation work would end up extending indefinitely, and so made the sad decision to close the store that we had spent so much time promoting and working on.
But as with so many such situations, the silver lining was positive. Very quickly we relocated the store to Xiaopu Art Village, in the same location as the CK Culture Centre. With the increase in space, we were able to expand our range and focus on art and more hand-crafted items.
And while we worried that people might be less willing to travel outside the city centre to see us, the response has been overwhelming, and even better than it was before!
We look forward to providing an ever greater range of products from an ever-expanding range of suppliers in the coming months. Be sure to stay tuned for that!
April – Cultural Keys Joining Expat Connection
If there is one thing we have always striven for at Cultural Keys, whether through our cultural classes, arts and crafts products or martial arts retreats, it’s that we put in 100% effort to make sure that our customers are always 100% happy. And when they are, more than anything else, that’s what makes us happy.
To be recognised for our commitment to quality and service is an honour, and when we were invited to join Expat Connection, an organization in Beijing that is made up of some of the city’s best expat service and product providers, we were proud to join them and be able to offer everything we have to an even wider audience!
While Cultural Keys offers a wide variety of products and services, we are perhaps best known for our traditional Chinese culture workshops. Last year we were able to offer an even wider range of classes at our new culture centre in Xiaopu Artists Village.
By developing ever-closer ties with the artisan population of the village, we have been able to offer consistently high quality classes to both both expat residents and visitors in Beijing. And with the great feedback we’ve received from everyone who has joined us over the past year, what we offer is going to get even better!
September – Warrior’s Way Kung Fu Bootcamp
For the 4th year running, last September Cultural Keys was extremely proud to take another group of expat students to learn kung fu under the auspices of warrior monks at the Shaolin Temple in Henan.
This time round was also our 10th bootcamp, meaning it was extra special! Participants gave 100% for 8 hours a day, every day. Warrior’s Way will be returning again in 2019 with a 10-day program in May and 2-week program in September. Be sure to keep your eyes on our social media for the latest on those!
October – Lao Beijing Chinese Culture Fair
Since we first started Cultural Keys, one of our dreams has been to hold a traditional temple fair style event. And in October of last year, we took the first step towards making it a reality by holding the first ever Lao Beijing Traditional Chinese Culture Fair!
While the weather wasn’t on our side, we were blessed to be joined by some of the best representatives of traditional Chinese culture in Beijing, both Chinese and expat. TCM doctors, tea vendors, artists and crafters joined us to bring the best of Chinese culture to the attendees, all of whom enjoyed a day unlike any other they would have experienced before in Beijing.
Best of all, Lao Beijing will be back later this year, bigger and better. Stay tuned for more info soon!
December – Business Chinese Classes with Tailor-Made
While Cultural Keys is definitely focused on promoting the traditional culture of China and making it more accessible to anyone who wants to learn more about the country’s history and customs, we still know the importance of skills for experiencing modern life here.
That’s why at the end of 2018, we teamed up with Tailor Made Chinese language school (a fellow member of Expat Connection) to offer a short course in the language expats need to do business better in China. While it was a small class, Tailor Made pulled out all the stops and it was very successful. So much so, we are already planning to offer a new 4-week program in March!
January – Spring Festival Presentations for the British Club Beijing and the International Newcomers Network (INN)
The Year of the Dog ended in the best possible way; being invited to give not one, but two different presentations on the customs and traditions of Spring Festival to the members of Beijing stalwart groups the British Club and the International Newcomers Network (INN).
Despite being so close to the holidays, both events were well-attended, with all participants interested in learning more about Chinese New Year, how to celebrate and what to expect.
It was a wonderful experience being able to share our love and passion for Chinese culture with so many other people, and we are extremely grateful to both the British Club and INN for inviting us to take part in these wonderful events. We look forward to many more such co-operations in the coming months and years!
The Year of the Dog was a great year for Cultural Keys. We were very fortunate to work with great partners, hold awesome events and continued to receive much-appreciated support from all our customers, students and clients! We couldn’t do what we do without all of you!
So from everyone at Cultural Keys, we offer thanks to each and every one of you. Looking ahead to the coming Year of the Pig, we hope that all the positive energy and opportunities that the Pig offers will bless you, your families, your work and social lives!
Have you had a successful Year of the Dog? Did you find the steady path of the dog helpful, or did its frantic energy get in your way? Let us know in the comments section on Facebook or Twitter. We always love to hear from you!
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Cultural Keys, a registered company in Hong Kong, Beijing and the UK, was founded in 2013 by three expats looking to help people better access, understand and enjoy life and traditional culture in China.
Since then, Cultural Keys has helped hundreds of people do exactly that.
If you are looking to get more out of your stay in China, no matter your reason for being interested in this fascinating country, Cultural Keys can help you experience more. Feel free to get in contact and let us know what you are looking to get out of your time here. We’d be happy to help you in any way we can!
191 (North Gate A), Xiaopu North Road
Xiaopu Village, Songzhuang
北街191号 (北门-A), 小堡村,