NATION

Chinese New Year with Dixon Seeto

Dixon Seeto, a man of many roles, is looking forward to the Chinese New Year celebrations. Mr Seeto is the managing director of the Hexagon Hotel Group, the president of
25 Jan 2017 11:00
Chinese New Year with Dixon Seeto
Business and community leader Dixon Seeto. Photo: Jessica Gounder

Dixon Seeto, a man of many roles, is looking forward to the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Mr Seeto is the managing director of the Hexagon Hotel Group, the president of the Fijian Hotel and Tourism Association and board chairperson of the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS), amongst other roles.

Mr Seeto was born in Suva and has held many prominent positions.

Mr Seeto’s father was brought to Fiji by his aunt in the early 1940s followed by his mother. Mr Seeto and his seven siblings were all born and raised in Suva.

His father worked in many organisations and restaurants in Suva and he later owned several restaurants.

Mr Seeto said: “We still have relatives in China but I guess the connection there still exists as a blood tie but being Fiji born, Fiji is very much our home.

“Our family have made Fiji their home as many of us are in the various professions, working in Fiji, contributing to the development of our own community.”

The following are Mr Seeto’s thoughts on the Chinese New Year:

 

 What is your ChineseNew Year wish?

My wish would be for Fiji to continue to do well and prosper, also that the participation of our community in a multicultural and multiracial Fiji continues and that we all live together in harmony for the betterment of Fiji.

 

What does Chinese New Year mean to you?

It has always meant a time we get to honour our ancestors and for some families they do the joss sticks and prayers and the ceremonies in respect to their ancestors as it is a time to reflect on how we got here and what they had done for us.

It is also a time where we look to our future especially in our own lives and businesses and in particular at the future of our children.

 

What are your goals for the Year of the Rooster?

My goal would be to continue the work I am doing for the community, charity and fulfilling some of the national roles I have in education and tourism and the hotels.

To ensure that the tourism industry and the economy of Fiji is on a safe and buoyant path and unless we don’t improve the people’s standard of living we are not really adding value to Fiji or our lives.

 

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

I take leadership roles for the betterment of the community and of the country and it can be very time consuming but it’s something that I enjoy and I relish contributing and giving back by doing things for the betterment of others.

My new role as a chairman for the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme Board has given me the immense pleasure in making sure that education is spreading as wide as possible to as many people as possible and our job with the assistance of the government budget to assist many students as possible to fulfill their educational aims and to build a smarter Fiji.

To build a smarter Fiji as it is very important that we look after the next generations as they are our future leaders.

 

How did you celebrate the festival as a child?

We had family gatherings and dinners together to respect our ancestors and also the children received gifts and red packets from parents, aunts and uncles.

An occasion like that bonds the family and community together.

 

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

On New Year’s Eve the family gets together, we respect our ancestors by offering the joss sticks and prayers to remember the people that have gone before us as we should recognize what people have done for us.

We are also celebrating the 160th anniversary that reminds us that the Chinese settlement has been in Fiji for a long time.

It’s like a social gathering where you can sometimes invite your friends and in China this is the time where people travel thousands of miles to be in their home town.

 

How will you be celebrating Chinese New Year?

This year we will gather at the family home and we will offer our gratitude and ceremonies to our ancestors and to the people in the family who have passed away.

We will sit for a family meal and the menu is very special such as we will have fish that symbolises prosperity and lettuce which is a vegetable of good fortune and various dishes that are made especially in the New Year to symbolise the celebration of this occasion.

 

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

The zodiac sigh is something that people talk about and I am more inclined to what I am and what I do for others and what I can contribute. While I am born under a zodiac sign what I do personally is more important to me.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj

 

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