Nigerians and the Chinese community in Abuja, recently celebrated the Chinese New Year, aka Spring Festival, which began in February 16. The celebration marks the Year of the Dog, according to the Chinese Lunar calendar and Zodiac sign.
According to the Deputy Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Lin Ping, to be born within the Year of the Dog signifies one’s loyalty, determination and trustworthiness. More importantly, the 4,000-year-old New Year festival, Ping says, “is a moment to reveal peoples’ achievement in the past year, and to share their visions of the future,” noting that cultural relations between both countries have grown closer.
Featuring a few of the activities associated with the festival, such as the Lion Dance, performed by the FCT Social Development Dance Troupe; a rendition of the Chinese Happy New Year song, and Deep Love Long Friendship by the global award-winning Capital Voices Choir, Abuja; and a banquet of varied Chinese delicacies, the event also witnessed several performances by student members of the Chinese Corners in 12 secondary schools in the FCT.
Showcasing the act which got it the winning spot at the Sino Cultural Fiesta contest, Precious Odhie and Angel Chris, of Government Secondary School, Gwarimpa, gave a song and dance performance of Lei Qing. Lei Qing tells the story of love in a time of war, and a people’s fight for peace.
A group of girls from Government Girls Secondary School, winners of the Sino fest, dance category, presented their victory piece entitled, Jasmine. “The performance speaks of a young woman’s dreams of someone. In the dance piece, she relates her trying to identify the subject of the dream from her audience,” says student, Franca Ofoyose.
Speaking of their fascination and interest in the Chinese culture, the students indicate their interests range from the love for the colour red, a hue the Chinese consider as good luck, royalty and success, to the easy assimilation of the traditional dances.
“I love the Chinese culture, the splashes of colours, and food. China is full of colours. Personally, I like colours, vibrant colours. Their colours inspire me to keep at my fashion illustrations, where I draw and colour clothing designs,” enthused Chris, who confirmed she created her dance interpretations of the song, Lei Qing.
Ofoyose, is attracted to the culture and the festival’s dominant colour, red. “My best colour is red, and I also like to dance. I decided to join the dance group because we get to wear my favourite colour, red. Also, it wasn’t hard to learn the steps.”
In betwixt performances of Pipa Solo Huanqin by Ms Shang Binqing, and Drunk Moon dance, both by the staff of the Chinese Embassy and the CCCN, and a song, Good Morning Africa by Abuja based Nigerian singer, Dele Aisheeda, a raffle draw was held, which saw 10 attendees win 10 home appliances including standing fans, microwaves, 33-two inches and 43-inch digital screen TVs.
The Chinese Lunar New Year festival hardly falls within the same day. The two-week festival, which follows the Chinese Lunar Calendar, ushers in every 12 months, a new year, which follows the Chinese 12-year Animal Zodiac Signs. This year’s festival fell within the Year of the Dog, and began on February 16. 2018. (with photo).