For the 5 years, the Confucius Institute continued to collaborate with the Bayside Council to host a Lunar New Year Festival for the local community. Lunar New Year celebrations at the Dacey Gardens have become a tradition for the Confucius Institute and the event only got bigger and better this year, attracting around 2000 people.
This year’s guest speakers included the Honourable Mr Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Federal Member for Kingsford Smith; Mr Michael Daley MP, State Member for Maroubra; Mr Ron Hoenig MP, State Member for Heffron; Mr Bill Saravinovski, Mayor of Bayside Council; Mr Niu Wenqi, Education Counsellor of the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney; Mr Neil Morris, Vice President of Campus Life and Community Engagement at UNSW Sydney; Mr Rhys Palmer, Head of International Affairs at UNSW Sydney and Associate Professor Junfang Xi, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at UNSW Sydney.
Pictured below is Mr. Niu Wenqi and Mr. Rhys Palmer
The event consisted of traditional Chinese arts and craft, such as Chinese dough-shaping and calligraphy, as well as traditional Chinese musical instruments and Chinese dance performances. Stalls with traditional food from across Asia were in high demand with the crowd and the lines extended out across the gardens. Face painting was also very popular, and many children had traditional animals, delicate flowers and happy pigs painted across their cheeks and foreheads as they bounced around, enjoying all the sights. There were also demonstrations of Chinese martial arts and Tai-Chi, but the main highlight of the night was, of course, the energetic Lion Dance.
The Lunar New Year Festival and the events held at the Chinese Garden of Friendship truly demonstrates the strong dedication that Confucius Institute has in cultivating cultural understanding between people; not only that, the Confucius Institute has connected and will continue to connect to not only university students but also to the local community.