Chinese New Year celebrations start

Performers play the dragon dance during the Chinese New Year parade

Performers play the dragon dance during the Chinese New Year parade

Monica Cheru-Mpambawashe Lifestyle Editor
Fireworks went off across the country, toasts were made and drunk. 2015 was gone and 2016 had come in with all its store of joy, success, happiness, woes, sorrows and lessons yet to be unpacked. More than two weeks later most resolutions have already been broken and most of us are back in the old rut.

There is a chance to redeem you visions; change over to the Chinese calendar and get ready for another round of New Year celebrations. And it is more than just a round of sounds and visuals at the stroke of midnight, the celebrations go on for days.

To set the ball rolling this year, the Chinese people in Zimbabwe will be hosting a carnival at Long Cheng Plaza. An open air party will be on tomorrow from two in the afternoon to eight in the evening.

The Zimbabwe Chinese Business Association who are organising the event with the support of their members including Satewave Technologies Solar Solutions say that this year they have decided to do something new.

“This year we have decided to celebrate with our Zimbabwean counterparts. Based on that principle this year’s celebrations are open to all and are just not about Chinese people in the country,” said association vice president Ms Carrie Li.

She urged Zimbabweans to come in their numbers saying such platforms are important for cross cultural communication which is necessary in the global village that the world has become.

Previous celebrations have been limited to Chinese people in Zimbabwe with a few locals and other nationals especially members of the diplomatic corps meriting special invitations.

This time the event is in a place accessible to all and the invitation is open.

As usual with all Chinese activities people can expect some stunning Chinese acts although this time round no special troupes are being flown in.

But in keeping with the theme of a multicultural society, local star musician Jah Prayzah will headline the event.

“Autographed copies of Jah Prayzah’s latest album will be available at the venue. But one lucky punter will get a copy signed for him personally at four thirty,” said Ms Li.

Other acts include the Zimbabwe Prison Band, students from the Confucius Institute at the University of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Chinese modelling team, Chinese dancing team of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Wushu Association.

The Confucius Institute offers Chinese language (Mandarin) at the local institution. A young man called Abraham will sing his song called “Africa and China” which he composed in honour of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Zimbabwe at the end of last year.

Chinese cuisine is loved across the world and has become mainstream staple fare for many people of all ethnic origins in areas all across the globe. Zimbabwe, mostly Harare has a variety of Chinese restaurants to choose from and all these will be present for a food expo.

There will also be stands exhibiting products made in Zimbabwe by various Chinese companies in the country as well as other manufacturers and producers across sectors. Other nationalities and some civic organizations will also be presenting their offerings. The British Business Association of Zimbabwe will also be there, said Ms Li.

For those who wonder how other people see our country, there is a perfect chance to literally see Zimbabwe through the eyes of Chinese photographers. The Association of Chinese Photographers in Zimbabwe will be showcasing their exquisite pictures which are usually the centre of attraction at events like Night of Beijing. In addition to professional international photographers’ there will also be other shots including from the ambassador of China to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping.

“These pictures show all aspects of Zimbabwe including flora and fauna culture as well as the people of Zimbabwe,” said Ms Li.

It would not be a carnival without a parade, so naturally there will be one. Traditional Chinese costumes will be on show as well as local ones. The joint approach will also be reflected in the dancing and singing acts where Chinese and Zimbabwean acts will perform together.

Entrance to the venue is five dollars which will give coupon holders access to Long Cheng Amusement Park for the day.

But for those afflicted with the terrible “January disease”, then perhaps the greatest part of the carnival will be the lottery draw. The grand prize may not be the billion dollar jackpot currently making the news in the US, but it is still a tidy sum at $3 000 and will certainly make a difference to someone.

There are lots of other consolation prizes including airline tickets to China and Cape Town as well as genuine designer accessories among other goodies.

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