Diplomats talk about Chinese New Year

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/10 17:53:39

Tanya Rebolledo, Mexican Embassy Photo: Courtesy of Tanya Rebolledo



 

Sushil Kumar Lamsal, Nepalese Embassy Photo: Courtesy of Sushil Kumar Lamsal

Raffaelia Sanzio Rodiman, Indonesian Embassy Photo: Courtesy of Raffaelia Sanzio Rodiman

Marlena Markovic, Serbian Embassy Photo: Courtesy of Marlena Markovic



 

Borjan Zafirovski, Macedonian Embassy Photo: Courtesy of Borjan Zafirovski



With the approaching Chinese New Year, also dubbed the Spring Festival, the Global Times (GT) talked with diplomats from different countries about their perspectives and connectivity with the Chinese New Year.

GT: What are your Chinese New Year experiences?

Raffaelia Sanzio Rodiman, Indonesian Embassy:

Last year, I spent Chinese New Year in Indonesia during which I visited my Chinese friends' places since they did not go back to China. I joined them and we had fun together.

Borjan Zafirovski, Macedonian Embassy:

Last year, I spent Chinese New Year abroad.

Tanya Rebolledo, Mexican Embassy:

My Chinese New Year experience in China has been very positive. I have spent it with loved ones at home having dinner and also in Houhai watching the beautiful fireworks. It is a celebration which is very important for the Chinese because they come together, sometimes from far distances, and enjoy the company of friends and family while eating delicious food, so it has been a wonderful and enriching experience.

Sushil Kumar Lamsal, Nepalese Embassy:

The Spring Festival has been a very exciting time for me. This will be my first Spring Festival in Beijing.

Marlena Markovic, Serbian Embassy:

I was fortunate to spend Chinese New Year here in China when I studied here as a student. I remember at that time the atmosphere was very warm and exciting and everywhere was decorated in red, which is regarded as the color of luck and prosperity.

China is like a hometown to me. I know some expats in China may feel lonely during this festival, but I don't feel that way because my friends and I have reunion meals and watch the CCTV's Spring Festival Gala. It makes me feel that we are also a part of this society.

GT: What is your understanding of Chinese New Year?

Rodiman:

Chinese New Year is a very happy festival during which people can let go of stress, reunite with their family members and have meals with them while enjoying the festival.

In our country, Chinese New Year is also a quite big festival, and we don't have to work during this time. Our Chinese friends have gatherings and they also get together with their family members.

Zafirovski:

Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of the New Year according to the Chinese lunar calendar. It is also a time for families to get together and participate in traditional activities like cleaning their houses from the evil and welcoming good luck for the next year. They also decorate with red paper on their windows and doors wishing happiness, luck and wealth. It's the most important holiday in China.

Rebolledo:

For me, the Spring Festival is the most important holiday in China. It's like Christmas for Mexicans in a sense that people come together to celebrate and cherish tradition. As family is very important for Chinese and Mexicans, I think there are similarities among our traditions. For example, Mexicans also have different and interesting New Year traditions to attract good luck and prosperity. We also like to clean and sweep our houses, like the Chinese people do, before the New Year. And for Mexicans, the New Year is an opportunity to achieve new goals and projects.

Lamsal:

Chinese New Year is the celebration of hope. People's faces in the cities, towns and streets have an expectation for the future. And I see that this is a festival of food, fireworks and family reunion. I believe that the Spring Festival will bring us all luck, joy, prosperity and happiness.

Markovic:

Chinese New Year is a very characteristic festival with over 4,000 years of history. Chinese New Year not only bids farewell to the past year but also welcomes the year to come, meaning that we must have hope for the future. The festival is also a cultural celebration of filial piety and reflects the traditional virtue of respecting and caring for the old and young.

Chinese New Year is a traditional Chinese festival with an even broader influence since it reminds us where our hometown is and how our parents and friends are doing.

GT: How will you spend Chinese New Year this year?

Rodiman:

I will probably spend my Chinese New Year in China because flights to Indonesia are too expensive.

I understand that there will not be many people in Beijing during Chinese New Year, so I would like to see and feel the city on this special occasion.

Zafirovski:

This year, I will be spending Chinese New Year abroad traveling to some neighboring countries.

Rebolledo:

This year, I will spend it in China visiting temple fairs and spring carnivals in Beijing and tasting jiaozi, as well as other delicious local cuisine.

Lamsal:

This year I will be spending Chinese New Year with my family but also be looking for Chinese friends. I will be trying new foods and new clothes, which are in plenty in Chinese stores at this time of the year.

Markovic:

I think I may either travel or stay in Beijing. Since we have been working very hard throughout the year, this festival gives us time to relax. We should use this time to relax, get together with friends, read books and enjoy Beijing.




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