IT’S a wonder that the humble teapot has survived in these days when the teabag is so ubiquitous.
Southside Community Services in Narrabundah has seized on the universality of drinking tea, second only to water in terms of worldwide popularity as a drink, in a charming and sometimes amusing exhibition, “Teapots and tablecloths exhibition”, running until the end of the June long weekend.
It is intended to highlight Southside’s small community gallery, supported by the gallery’s growing group of friends and volunteers.
To date it has been the setting for exhibitions by local community artists including Antonio Barreda, Vijaya Sen, James Rowell and Keith Reece but in an effort to popularise the space, it is now the scene of an exhibition of all things to do with drinking tea, with weekend tea parties to celebrate.
Lyn Diskon, business and community development manager with the services, told “CityNews” that when they went looking for teapots, they found many lenders had to fish around in their storerooms for these once-prized household items.
Fortunately, many of Canberra’s ethnic communities still hold tea drinking close to their hearts and could even produce beautiful tablecloths suitable for serving a good cuppa.
And talking of a cuppa, did you know that the almost universal word for tea is originally Cantonese, “ch’a”, reflected in the Indian word “chai”, the post-Raj British expression “a cup of the old char”, also used right across Eastern Europe, where presumably it came from China via Russia. The English word “tea” came from the Amoy term “tay”,
Organisers of the exhibition produced a handout on “interesting facts about tea and teapots” that reveal the medicinal origins of tea in both China and Japan until the 14th century.
Children from schools and childcare centres in the area have contributed their impressions, showing that the teapot is certainly not dead in Australia. School students’ artworks will be auctioned with proceeds going directly to schools.
High teas will take place at 63 Boolimba Crescent over the long weekend on June 9, 10 and 11 and will incur a small fee.