By Nanise Volau
The Chinese community in Fiji has set a good example by contributing immensely to Fijian society as well as integrating and living harmoniously with all.
And this weekend, Chinese nationals in Fiji and abroad will offer sacrifices to their gods and ancestors, pray for good harvest and hold a variety of ceremonies of discarding the old and bringing in the new.
The Chinese New Year, is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar as it is when all families and friends gather to express their best wishes.
It is the occasion for family reunions and renewal of friendships – symbolizing harmony and good wishes.
This new year is the “Year of the Dog,” an animal Chinese associates with good luck, ranking as the eleventh animal in Chinese zodiac. For them, the dog stands for loyalty and honesty.
Fiji’s Minister for Health Rosy Akbar was joined by members of the diplomatic corp and senior government officials at a reception to mark the Chinese New Year today, hosted by the newly appointed Ambassador of China to Fiji, Qian Bo at the China Cultural Centre in Suva.
Ambassador Bo in his message said they were pleased to share their cultures with the people of Fiji.
“By sharing our cultures, people in China and Fiji could better understand each other and deepened our friendship,” Mr Bio said.
“The government of China looks forward to another year of supporting developments in Fiji,” he added.
Ms Akbar says In Fiji, the celebrations provide an opportunity to demonstrate the richness of the Chinese culture and also promotes multi-cultural harmony and diversity among all the communities, who are known through a common identity of “Fijians.”
“It is in that spirit of harmony that the bilateral friendly relation between Fiji and China has grown even closer than ever,” Ms Akbar said.