The Fiji Times

Chinese mark new year

- By ARIETA VAKASUKAWA­QA

VICTORIES achieved by the FijiFirst Government over the past 12 years in office are also for the Chinese community in Fiji.

This was the statement by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimaram­a while speaking during the Chinese New Year celebratio­n at

Suva Civic Centre yesterday.

“I am happy to be able to join each of you — the members of our Fijian-Chinese community — for this celebratio­n of the Chinese New Year,” he said.

“This year, Chinese communitie­s around the world are ushering in the Year of the Rat.

“There is a refreshing quality about marking the beginning of a new era.

“It first offers a chance for reflection and a chance to celebrate achievemen­t and consider the lessons of history.”

Twelve years ago, he said at the start of the last zodiac cycle, Fiji was a vastly different country.

“Fijian children did not know the life-changing opportunit­ies borne from free education.

“Our economy had yet to secure the historic streak of expansion or level of stability we have today.

“Systems of birthright and patriarcha­l privilege reigned supreme over the proven might of merit-based recognitio­n.

“Our people did not know the common and equal citizenry they now share. And our Constituti­on

— and the vast array of rights it enshrines — was yet to be promulgate­d.

“These great Fijian victories have been victories for every member of the Fijian-Chinese community, the same as any of your fellow Fijians.”

He said it was through unity that Fiji was able to progress over the past 12 years.

 ?? Picture: JOVESA NAISUA ?? Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimaram­a puts a mark on the dragon during the Chinese New Year celebratio­n at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
Picture: JOVESA NAISUA Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimaram­a puts a mark on the dragon during the Chinese New Year celebratio­n at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
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 ?? Picture: JOVESA NAISUA Picture: JOVESA NAISUA ?? LEFT: Dancers Yang Wei and Zhao Minyan perform a classical double dance called “rolling curtain” during the Chinese New Year celebratio­n at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
RIGHT: Dancers of the Yunnan Art Troupe perform an ethnic group dance during the Chinese New Year celebratio­n at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
Picture: JOVESA NAISUA Picture: JOVESA NAISUA LEFT: Dancers Yang Wei and Zhao Minyan perform a classical double dance called “rolling curtain” during the Chinese New Year celebratio­n at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday. RIGHT: Dancers of the Yunnan Art Troupe perform an ethnic group dance during the Chinese New Year celebratio­n at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
 ?? Picture: JOVESA NAISUA ?? Singer Gesang Dunzhu performs “sing a song of wine” during the Chinese New Year celebratio­n at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
Picture: JOVESA NAISUA Singer Gesang Dunzhu performs “sing a song of wine” during the Chinese New Year celebratio­n at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
 ?? Picture: JOVESA NAISUA ?? Members of the Chinese Youth, Social and Cultural Associatio­n perform a dragon dance.
Picture: JOVESA NAISUA Members of the Chinese Youth, Social and Cultural Associatio­n perform a dragon dance.
 ?? Picture: JOVESA NAISUA ?? Dancers of the Yunnan Art Troupe perform an ethnic group dance called “South of Colourful Clouds” at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
Picture: JOVESA NAISUA Dancers of the Yunnan Art Troupe perform an ethnic group dance called “South of Colourful Clouds” at the Suva Civic Centre yesterday.
 ?? Picture: JOVESA NAISUA ?? Acrobat Tang Aixin shows off her “jugging with the feet” performanc­e.
Picture: JOVESA NAISUA Acrobat Tang Aixin shows off her “jugging with the feet” performanc­e.

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