South Africans and other Africans including other nationalities joined the Chinese community in Pretoria on Saturday to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The celebrations were held at the Chinese embassy in Pretoria where different nationalities mingled. People were entertained by different Chinese cultural dances, kungfu, puppet show and acrobatics. The Chinese ambassador to South Africa Lin Songtian welcomed the guest stating that China is willing to work with countries of the world for peace and prosperity. The tear 2020 is the year of the rat according to the Chinese zodiac.
Ambassador Lin said, “A rat is a clever animal. I wish all the people a prosperous 2020. China is ready to work with the countries of the world for prosperity, not war but peace and harmony. We want to work for a better world.”
The University of Witwatersrand Dr William Mpofu said while China is not perfect its rise of China is good for the world as it creates a multipolar world. He stated that it is dangerous for power to be centered in one country. Dr Mpofu commended the Chinese for welcoming and showcasing their culture to the world. He said he was impressed by some cultural dances and entertainment.
Uche Adeyem, a Nigerian national staying in South Africa said it was a good idea for people from across the globe to meet and spend the day together to bring about social cohesion. He stated that the visit was an eye opener and he learnt a lot about Chinese culture.
Adeyemi said, “I tasted some Chinese food and alcohol and they tasted nice. I enjoyed their traditional dances particularly the sword fights. This is healthy for people of the world to learn about our culture and live in harmony.”
Simbabrashe Gava from Zimbabwe said he is employed by a South African of a Chinese descent and always attend the Spring Festival. He said he enjoys the fireworks and different cultural dances.
The chairperson of The Chinese Association Erwin Pon said the event will make people to learn about each other and bring about peaceful coexistence. Pon said he was over the moon to see people from different countries spending the day with the Chinese community.
He said, “This place is usually busy with business matters but today it’s a different day. It’s a family day which brings about unity among different colours, nationalities and races. We welcome this as the Chinese community. We wish a successful 2020. A rat is a clever animal and we expect people to use their minds to be prosperous this year.”
There are many events lined up until the end of the month by the Chinese community in South Africa to celebrate the Spring Festival.