Happy Chinese New Year
The Chinese serpent danced at London’s Trafalgar Square despite a relentless downpour.
China has been slowly taking over the world’s economy in the post-industrial era of the 90s and Noughties, only to fully consolidate its position in the last couple of years. It’s clear from the number of Chinese students in the country – about 70,000 – that the thriving Chinese expat and migrant community reflects this development with an increased visibility and influence on the London’s life.
Case in point – the massive celebration of Chinese New Year in London’s historic Chinatown all of yesterday. The longest and most important traditional holiday for Chinese people everywhere in the world, 10th February marked the world’s entrance into the Chinese ‘Year of the Snake’. Chinese astrology has it that this year will be one of rationality, cutbacks and resilient frugality, which is perhaps why Boris Johnson participated in the opening ceremony of the traditional performances for the second year in a row – to get into the proper spirit of things to come.
The Chinese community of London celebrated the occasion with a colourful parade of music, costumes, dragons and red lamps in Chinatown and Trafalgar square. The stage at the square drew in a large crowd which happily braved the violent wind and rain to watch a spectacular show that ended in fireworks around sunset. Thousands are estimated to have joined in the day-long party and feasting, not least because the food was excellent. “These dumplings are bangin’,” said one enthusiastic participant. All major Chinese restaurants from the West End and beyond were present with stalls of their finest chow, among which were craftsmen and artisans.
Meanwhile on China’s State TV, famed indigenous soprano Song Zuying and Canadian diva Celine Dion sang a song in Mandarin, which you can watch below. Surprisingly enough, Celine is not a Mandarin speaker, nor does she understand it, so she must have relied a lot on intensive training. We think she made a commendable effort in virtually immersing herself in what’s known as an especially difficult language to master. Hats off, Celine!
Our Chinese-speaking readers – tell us what you think of Celine’s pronunciation in the comment box.
Here and Now 365 has always prided itself for promoting multiculturalism and celebrating the ethnic diversity of the UK.