Year of the Pig welcomed

MORE than 70 volunteers and performers have helped end the Chinese Lunar New Year Festival with a bang by welcoming in the Year of the Pig at the 2019 Tasmanian Chinese Lantern Festival.

Two thousand people saw first-hand a myriad of multicultural acts at Wrest Point Casino in mid-February.

Featuring Chinese Kung Fu, traditional Asian dances, lantern and costume shows, Chinese rock bands, and an Aboriginal welcome to country, the Chinese Lantern Festival provided a platform for international communities and local businesses to engage.

“We realise not only China, but also Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, the Thai people and parts of Malaysia are also celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year, so we’re just trying to bring the culture together and let more local people understand our culture and celebrate our heritage,” Australian Fujian Association Tasmania president Jason Xu said.

Now in its fifth year, Mr Xu said the festival was an occasion for reunions between friends and families, as well as a symbol of harmony and unity.

“I want to help my son and daughter to understand their heritage, and also celebrate the multiculturalism in Australia,” he said.

With the number of Asian students studying in Tasmania increasing each year, the event provides the opportunity to make it feel like they’re still at home.

“It is a new start, a new journey for the new year,” Mr Xu said.

“I think it’s giving the people the courage to try new things.”

Finance student and volunteer Zhimin Jiang said being part of the festival gave her the chance to express her love for her country.

“I have also made lots of friends with members from the community,” she said.

Mr Xu hopes the festival can continue to grow and become more professional in the future.

Caption: Pictured left, Zhimin Jiang, Zhuoxia Leng, Gura Fujimto and Jie Wu pose in traditional Chinese dress. Pictured right, Steven Wang plays the Guzheng in a Chinese rock band.