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Australia is a multicultural society and we celebrate festivals of many nations. Under the Australian model of multiculturalism, new immigrants adopts the core values of their new home which includes the parliamentary democracy (Westminster System), the rule of law (plus independence of the judiciary from the legislators), the system of Education and English as the bonding language between the 140 nationalities found in Australia.
Over 40% of the population has at least one parent born overseas. The adoption of the core values is prerequisite to be called an Australian. All Australians are free to practice their religion, culture, traditions and language. The sharing of language, traditions and culture among Australians make the society a rich one. You do not need to travel the whole world to observe other cultures and you can see it in Australia.
Australians celebrate Christmas, New Year, Easter, Lunar New Year, Deepavali, Ramadan, Jewish festivals and other European and Asian festivals. One of the popular Festivals in Sydney, organized by the Sydney City Council, is the Chinese New Year Parade. The parade starts at sunset and will have Chinese cultural performances in the streets and richly decorated Lorries (Flower Vehicles). The twelve Chinese zodiac animals will be paraded. All Australians of different background lined up in the streets to watch the parade which takes 2 hours to complete the event. The participants come from local Chinese residents in Sydney; their Associations (including Lion & Dragon Dance Associations) proudly present their culture’s artistic and colorful performance. China also participated in this festival by sending their team of performances (about 100 people) to the Chinese New Year Parade. Photographs of the 2011 Chinese New Year Twilight Parade are shown above.
Chinese Australians do share their culture with other Australians in the annual Chinese New Year Parade in Sydney. A rich tapestry of songs, dances and acrobatics is indeed a good sight to behold. Overseas tourists to Australia also enjoy watching the parade.
A Happy Chinese New Year or Spring Festival to some and a Happy Lunar New Year to others. Celebrating another culture’s festivities is always a happy occasion.