As published in the Murray Valley Standard.
Written by Emma Zirkel.
Photo: Celebrate: CCAM Deputy President Bao Luo with President Brong Xu (centre) are accompanied by guests from SA Overseas Chinese Association during the Murray Bridge Moon Cake Festival.
Last month’s Moon Cake Festival was a success, says Bao Lu who now hopes to share more Chinese traditions and festivals with the wider Murraylands community.
The Moon Cake Festival is a harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese people.
As deputy president of the Chinese Community Association Murraylands (CCAM) Mr Luo said the intention of the festival was to provide the local community with an insight into a traditional Chinese festival.
“The Moon Cake Festival is one of the big celebrations for Chinese people and is about celebrating a hopeful moon and marks the reunion of family and friends,” Mr Luo said.
“Around 200 people gathered at the Murray Bridge Church of Christ to celebrate the event where we had musical performances, a fashion parade and games.
“We also played tug-of-war which is very popular and shared in a meal where each household contributed a traditional Chinese meal.
“It was a great opportunity for us to celebrate with community of Murray Bridge and share some Chinese traditions.”
Mr Luo outlined the CCAM’s strategy which indicated that isolation was not an issue for the Chinese population of Murray Bridge, but that more support was required for children.
“It’s a common misconception that isolation is an issue, mostly due to the language barrier, but the Chinese community in Murray Bridge is strong enough to form a sub-ecosystem,” Mr Luo said.
“According to our statistics there around 80 households and 220 people in the Murray Bridge Chinese community.
“But our main focus is to integrate into the local community because that’s the way it should be. The Chinese people living in Murray Bridge are honest, hard working and friendly.”
Mr Luo said CCAM had also shifted their focus to implement a strategy which would support children and further build a supportive ecosystem for the Chinese community in Murray Bridge.
“A current issue is that many parents leave their children in hometown because they feel the lack of support in childcare and education,” Mr Luo said.
“It can be hard for young children who start school.
“If a child comes directly from China to Murray Bridge it can be difficult for them without a new arrival program of some type to support them.”
Mr Luo said the association looked forward to hosting more community events in the future and to cooperate with the Murraylands Multicultural Network to set up a round table for educational supports.