Australia-Lunar New Year of the Ox: Two generations of Chinese immigrants in Australia's New Year memory (Photos) | Australia Chinatown

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The customs of Chinese New Year in Australia are very rich due to its diverse population composition.Not only people from all over the world celebrate the Lunar New Year here, but there are also Chinese people commonly known as ABC (Australia Born Chinese) celebrating it in their own way.

This article is reproduced from the ABC Chinese of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It only represents the original source and the original author's views. It is for reference only and does not represent the attitude and position of this website.

The customs of Chinese New Year in Australia are very rich due to its diverse population composition.Not only people from all over the world celebrate the Lunar New Year here, but there are also Chinese people commonly known as ABC (Australia Born Chinese) celebrating it in their own way.

Currently, Christmas Island with more than 1800 residents is the only area in Australia where the Lunar New Year is a statutory holiday.

This can be described as "envious and jealous" for some Chinese. They hope that all parts of Australia can recognize the Lunar New Year as a legal holiday like Christmas Island, so that generations of people can gather together on an important day of the year.

Pody Tung, who immigrated from Taiwan in the 90s, said that the New Year is different in Australia and Taiwan. There is a small group of people celebrating here, lacking the atmosphere, and the New Year in Taiwan is even stronger.

"Later, we went to the temple and felt []The incense of the day is still quite strong, you can feel it[] Atmosphere," Dong Lijuan told ABC Chinese.

"Hiding the star" is a new Chinese New Year custom that Dong Lijuan started after immigrating to Australia.

"Hiding the star" is a new Chinese New Year custom that Dong Lijuan started after immigrating to Australia. (Illustration design: Dai Zhong)

Her eldest son, Jonathan Chang, who moved to Australia at the age of four, said that he was most impressed by eating black sesame glutinous rice balls, holding red packets and a lot of red lanterns.

For Zhang Bowei, who just moved out to live alone on his own, he will go home early on the New Year’s Day to celebrate the New Year with his family.

"[Chinese New Year Shou Sui] can go to bed late, do not need to go to bed at XNUMX or XNUMX o'clock," Zhang Bowei said, this is the most memorable point for him during the New Year.

In order to give the children a New Year atmosphere, Ms. Dong has always insisted on celebrating New Year's Eve and New Year's Day with her family.

"I will spend the two-week holiday of the Spring Festival myself, and like my sons, they need to go to work and school and cannot live a traditional year. But keeping the old age, eating reunion dinners, eating dumplings, and "hiding the stars" are all Indispensable."

For many people, "hiding the stars" is a Spring Festival custom that has never been heard of.Ms. Dong Lijuan said that this also started after she immigrated to Australia and asked for advice.

"Everyone has a different fortune every year. A master said that if you "dodge the stars" on New Year's Eve every year, you don't need to find someone to calculate whether your luck is good or bad."

"[Master] said that we must let the children go home at five or six in the afternoon to have good luck in the second year.

"So I just hid like this for 18 years. My family also hid for 18 years."

Dong Lijuan and her family celebrate the Lunar New Year every year.

Dong Lijuan and her family celebrate the Lunar New Year every year. (Supplied)

Zhang Bowei said: "It's best to hide. I'm also very scared. You don't know why there are some things, but every year after the "hiding star", it is very good and smooth. It may be because of the star hiding."

The second son, Mark Karlic, likes playing football very much. He understands that his mother likes to celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year, but he is not so interested.However, out of respect for his mother, he will also accompany his mother during the New Year.

"I just do what my mother said," Mark Dong said, which also includes the custom of "hiding stars".

"On New Year's Eve, my mother will cover the window with curtains."

Mark Dong said that although he himself did not believe in these superstitious practices, for him, it would not hurt to do so.

"I just do what they say, not afraid of ten thousand, just in case."

In addition to hiding from the stars, Dong Mark also clearly remembers the ceremony of worshiping ancestors before the New Year's Eve dinner. 

"The other thing is to worship the grandfathers of the ancestors. We will cook their favorite food, add incense, and bow to them," he said.

Dong Lijuan said that although the children had moved out and worked, they still had to give the red envelopes until they "married."However, Zhang Bowei said that when he was a child, he always “taken the red envelope and handed it to his mother”.

In recent years, he has not only kept the red envelopes, but also accumulated experience in holding red envelopes.

"It seems that the smaller the red envelope, the more money, the bigger the red envelope, the less money inside, and the more beautiful the red envelope, there is no money in it."

The youngest son, Mark Dong, also remembered holding the red envelope still fresh.He said that every year he would get red envelopes from his mother, elder brother, and aunt, but he found that as the age increased, the money in the red envelopes not only did not increase, but decreased instead.

"New Year's Day means a lot of money and a lot of delicious food."

"Nothing can be done on New Year's Day"

Lin Minwei and her brother Lin Shirong didn't quite understand why they couldn't do anything on the first day of the new year.

Lin Minwei and her brother Lin Shirong didn't quite understand why they couldn't do anything on the first day of the new year. (Illustration design: Dai Zhong)

Jessica Hall (Jessica Hall) and Matthew Hall (Matthew Hall) are a sibling.Their mother is from Fujian and their father is European and Australian.

A few months after Lin Minwei was born, she moved to Shanghai with her parents and lived there for eight years.Although his younger brother Lin Shirong was also born in Australia, he also had the experience of growing up in China as a child.Their memories are still full of New Year memories.

"When I was a kid, my favorite thing was to set off firecrackers and fireworks. Mainly because I didn't have the chance. At that time, I was very scared, but I wanted to try it," said Lin Minwei, who has graduated from university.

Another thing she remembered fresh was a taboo on New Year's Day.

"I can't do anything on the first day of the Lunar New Year. The deepest thing I remember is that I can't cut my nails. I did this for a year, but I was scolded by my elders," she said. When she was a child, she didn't understand what it meant.

Lin Dongxiu's son, Lin Shirong, who is still in college, said: "I can't remember much about the New Year in China. I remember the most fun thing is to play with other children and eat a lot of delicious food."

Lin Dongxiu's family of four lived in Shanghai for 8 years.

Lin Dongxiu's family of four lived in Shanghai for 8 years. (Supplied)

Mother Linda Lin said that this is because you cannot make yourself too tired on the first day of the New Year, otherwise you will be exhausted all year.She still remembered that her mother had to burn incense and worship Buddha on the first day of the junior high, and she had to be a vegetarian.

"My mother will also make us long, green, long-lived vegetables, as well as her own balls," Lin Dongxiu said.

She said that in her hometown of Fujian, there is also a custom to drink alcohol on New Year's Eve and stay drunk.

"There must be someone lying on the floor drunk and unconscious before this activity can end."

After moving back to Australia, the Chinese New Year has become more and more casual, and she has become the person who cares about the Chinese New Year the most in her family. 

"My husband is a Westerner, so I am more serious about the Chinese New Year, but if you want to, just go, if you don't want to, just feel free," she said.

My daughter Lin Minwei said that during Chinese New Year, everyone will do something together. The New Year’s atmosphere is very strong, but in Australia, there may be only your family on a street to celebrate the New Year, so there is no atmosphere.In addition, I still have to go to work and school on the first day of the new year, and the community’s New Year celebration activities are also arranged on the weekend, so the year is mediocre.

Chinese New Year in an Australian town, I only hope for the happiness of the family

Chen Yajing, who lives in a small town in the northwestern part of NSW, said that it seems to me that it only makes sense to take more red packets.

Chen Yajing, who lives in a small town in the northwestern part of NSW, said that it seems to me that it only makes sense to take more red packets. (Illustration design: Dai Zhong)

Kimi Chen, a Cantonese girl who has lived in the small town of Wellington in northwestern NSW for less than three years, is 16 years old.Father Chen Yuerong said that they work, live, and do some small businesses here, but there are only a dozen Chinese in the whole town.

"In remote areas, you can't feel the atmosphere of the New Year at all," said Mr. Chen Yuerong.

"We ate our own New Year's Eve dinner on the XNUMXth of last year. We gave red envelopes to the children on the first day of the year, and that's it," he said.

Daughter Chen Yajing said: "There are many customs to observe during the Chinese New Year. After coming to Australia, it seems that they have gradually forgotten the customs."

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Chen Yajing's father, Chen Yuerong, said that he hoped for family harmony and good health. (Supplied)

"Now for the Spring Festival, it seems to me that it is only meaningful for me to have more red envelopes. Others seem to feel nothing."

She said that the most important thing is actually a family reunion to have a New Year's Eve dinner.When asked if she would help cook New Year's Eve dinner, Chen Yajing smiled and said that she could not cook.

"Actually, it would be nice to sit down and eat," said father Chen Yuerong.

The Year of the Ox is approaching, and Chen Yajing, who is underage, said that what she expects most is "big red envelopes."

For Dad, his wish is more grounded.

"I just hope that my daughter and family will be more harmonious and better, and everyone will be healthy.

This article is reproduced from the ABC Chinese of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It only represents the original source and the original author's views. It is for reference only and does not represent the attitude and position of this website.

Reprint Statement: This article is reprinted and published, which only represents the attitude of the original author or the original platform, and does not represent our views.Only an information publishing platform is provided, and the article may be appropriately deleted.Contact the original author who has objections and requests for deletion.

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