Fong Lees Lane to cel­e­brate Chi­nese-abo­rig­i­nal her­itage

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By JOHN RYAN

Age: Four! Favourite song? Favourite colour? Favourite game?

Ana

Pink and pur­ple

Mario Broth­ers on my broth­ers Nin­tendo on the TV

Who is your best friend? What makes you laugh?

Holly

Jokes. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side! Ghost

Play­ing games!

What are you afraid of? What are you re­ally good at?

Footy

What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?

Pasta

What is your favourite fruit? Water­melon What do you want to be when you grow up?

princess

How old is grown up?

Like 50?

A

LIKE low bud­get Hol­ly­wood movies or Broad­way plays which be­come the un­likely suc­cesses of the sea­son, last year’s Fong Lees Lane in Welling­ton showed how lo­cals can use cre­ativ­ity in­stead of grant monies to stage true grass­roots events that strike a chord that forces lo­cals to show up.

The 2018 event saw thou­sands of peo­ple flock to the tiny lane, with many peo­ple telling Dubbo

it was more like be­ing in the Syd­ney CBD than a back street in a re­gional town.

Last year Welling­ton Arts, a lo­cal vol­un­teer group, was asked to part­ner the DREAM Fes­ti­val and the mem­bers de­cided to cre­ate a spe­cial com­mu­nity event to cel­e­brate the town’s cul­tural di­ver­sity.

Pres­i­dent Lisa Thomas said af­ter procla­ma­tion of Welling­ton in 1817, not a lot hap­pened with fur­ther Eu­ro­pean set­tle­ment un­til around the 1850s when many Chi­nese men were em­ployed as ‘ring bark­ers’ to pro­vide re­sources in land clear­ing for many of the set­tlers.

“As the pop­u­la­tion ex­panded due to the lo­cal gold rush, mar­ket gar­den­ing be­came the sav­ing grace of Welling­ton and its com­mu­nity,” Mrs Thomas said.

“The Chi­nese adapted well and worked the river flats to cul­ti­vate mar­ket gar­dens and em­ployed many Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple as labour­ers, and an eth­i­cal work­ing re­la­tion­ship was fos­tered and is, to this day, some­thing quite unique for both cul­tures.

“Welling­ton still main­tains fam­i­lies of Chi­nese and Chi­nese/ Abo­rig­i­nal fam­i­lies that are proud to be part of this in­ter­est­ing his­tory,” she said.

Fong Lees Lane is a cel­e­bra­tion of the unity of these cul­tures and how the pros­per­ity and econ­omy of Welling­ton was greatly shaped by these early re­la­tion­ships.

Mrs Thomas said there are many com­plex his­tor­i­cal sto­ries but the Fong Lees Lane event is sim­ply about bring­ing com­mu­nity to­gether through so­cial in­ter­ac­tions.

“Stop and talk to a stranger, share a ta­ble with new friends, and make the most of a fab­u­lous night out with great en­ter­tain­ment, en­cour­ag­ing our pa­trons to just be a part of your com­mu­nity,” she said.

“Come and en­joy ex­cel­lent multicultu­ral foods, squeeze into our iconic lane, the only one way street in Welling­ton; we have sneaky back lanes, mu­sic, dragons, lanterns, food, friends and a fab­u­lous line up of unique en­ter­tain­ment for all to en­joy.” z is set down for Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 25, with a start time of 5pm. Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion can be found at the Fong Lees Lane Face­book page.

Fong Lees Lane

Scenes from the very pop­u­lar Fong Lees Lane event in Welling­ton last year. Organisers are set for the 2019 event, to be held to­mor­row (Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 25). PHO­TOS: SUP­PLIED

A range of dif­fer­ent de­signs and colour­ful lanterns

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