Year of Fire Monkey: What it Means

Ma Qiong, also known as June is the chief of the information division at the China Cultural Centre in Fiji. She is the wife of the director of the centre
02 Feb 2016 10:30
Year of Fire Monkey: What it Means
Ma Qiong

Ma Qiong, also known as June is the chief of the information division at the China Cultural Centre in Fiji.

She is the wife of the director of the centre Deng Xiangfu. June is from Sichuan Province in the south-west of China. The centre is located on levels 7-8, Ganilau House in Suva.


What is your Chinese New Year wish?

This year, I cannot go back to reunite with my family in China. I wish all my family members and friends back in China  a very happy  new year.

I hope my work in the China Cultural Centre in Suva will be smooth and successful, and I can learn more about Fijian culture and make more Fijian friends while experiencing Chinese culture together with them.


What does Chinese New Year mean to you?

Chinese New Year always means a lot to me. In the past years, I would always celebrate the Chinese New Year together with my parents and other family members.

It is the time for family reunion. This Chinese New Year, I will stay in Fiji.


What are your goals for the Year of the Monkey?

In the Year of Monkey, I will work hard together with my colleagues to present China and Chinese Culture to Fijian people, and to introduce Fiji and Fijian Culture to Chinese People.

I hope our cultural activities can benefit Fijian people and increase the mutual understanding and friendship between Fijian and Chinese people.


What’s the most interesting thing about you and your culture?

There are so many interesting things about my culture. I can not name them all. If you want to know more about China and Chinese Culture, please come to China Cultural Centre.


How did you celebrate the festival as a child?

When I was a child, I played in the snow, light fireworks with my friends, and say ‘Happy New Year’ to the neighbours and the elders, and I would get red envelopes from my parents. Also I would eat a lot of candies and delicious foods.


What traditions do you still keep, and how do you celebrate Chinese New Year today?

Today, many families still sit around the dinner table to have a feast at New Year’s Eve. The difference may be that, from 20:00pm China Central Television Station will carry a live broadcast of the 4-hour Chinese New year Programmes. The whole family will eat and drink while watching TV. There are many traditions we still keep, like setting off firecrackers and fireworks, writing spring couplets, eating Chinese dumplings,  guessing lantern riddles while celebrating the Lantern Festival.


How will you be celebrating Chinese New Year?

This year, the Chinese New Year celebration is very special to me. It will be the first Chinese New Year we celebrate here in Fiji.

We will have a reunion dinner together with colleagues in the Chinese Embassy on New Year’s Eve,  and have some art performances by ourselves.  During the Chinese New Year holidays, we will also visit a Fijian village and experience the unique culture. Moreover, on February 19, China Cultural Centre will hold a reception.

Guests will have a chance to try the activities we Chinese people usually do to celebrate the Lantern Festival, such as guess lantern riddles, writing Chinese Spring Couplets, and making sweet dumplings.


What animal zodiac sign were you born under, and do you think there are similarities between you and your animal sign?

Well, I was born in the Year of Snake. Snake is a symbol of beauty, flexibility, and wisdom. I may have some similarities with the Snake, I don’t really know. But I will try to represent the features of the snake, and do my bit well in promoting the cultural exchange and cooperation between China and Fiji.



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