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It’s Double Celebrations For Chinese In Fiji

It’s double celebrations for the Chinese in Fiji. Today we wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster. We also congratulate them for the 160th anniversary
28 Jan 2017 11:04
It’s Double Celebrations For Chinese In Fiji
Editorial

It’s double celebrations for the Chinese in Fiji.

Today we wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year, the Year of the Rooster.

We also congratulate them for the 160th anniversary of the Chinese in this country. A book, Chinese in Fiji 1885-2015, will also be launched to mark the occasion.

Today’s Year of the Rooster celebrations mark the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year, China’s biggest holiday, which is celebrated throughout the world.

Chinese people ring in the New Year around when the moon is closest to the beginning of spring, usually sometime between mid-January and late February.

Each year, the Chinese calendar assigns an animal from a rotating zodiac of 12 animals. The 12 animals cycle through rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

2016 was the Year of the Monkey. Apart from 2017, the Year of the Rooster includes the years 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and 2029. 2017 is a Fire Rooster Year.

According to Chinese astrology, each year is associated with one of five elements as well as an animal, including gold (metal), wood, water, fire or Earth. The element, combined with the zodiac animal, set the astrology for the year.

As we celebrate, we also recognise all the Chinese who have contributed to the building of Fiji as an independent and democratic nation.

From the first settlers to the modern Chinese, they weave their own unique thread in the Fijian national tapestry that represents our diversity.

The history of Chinese people in Fiji dates back to the 1850s, when Moy Ba Ling, also known as Houng Lee, reached Fiji in a sail boat from Australia and settled in Levuka.

He later returned to China, before bringing his relatives and some others to settle in Fiji, in connection with the gold rush, according to Wikipedia.

Their story is one of sacrifice, hard work and perseverance. Generations after them have contributed immensely to the economic, social and political developments of this country.

Their strong work ethic is well-known throughout the country. Many of them have been successful business owners, professionals, doctors, lawyers and commercial heavyweights. Dixon Seeto, for example, is the managing director of Hexagon Hotel Group, president of Fijian Hotel and Tourism Association and board chairperson of the Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS). The Seetos, Yees, Harm Nam, Fongs, Houng Lees and the Wongs are among the families who have helped keep the Chinese tradition alive.

The integrity and work culture of the Chinese are well known. They quietly work in the background and produce great results, whether it is agriculture, manufacturing, retailing, building, tourism or catering etc.

They have shown that there is no substitute for hard work. Their positive influence has rubbed off on the various communities which have learned from their experience and followed their example.

They have integrated well with other races and many have married non-Chinese. They are generally law-abiding citizens and they adhere to culture.

They may be a minority in the demographics but they pull well above their weight.

Today we salute the Chinese community and wish them well in their celebrations.

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