Chinese overseas enjoy festivities and remember home ties

By KARL WILSON in Sydney and LEONARDUS JEGHO in Jakarta | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-09-30 07:39
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An actor performs during a celebration to mark Mid-Autumn Festival at the Gardens of the World in Berlin on Sept 23. REN PENGFEI/XINHUA

According to the 2021 census, 1.39 million Australians identify as having Chinese ancestry, accounting for 5.5 percent of the population. They come from many parts of Asia — such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and, of course, China.

"What is interesting is that 40 percent of Australia's Chinese have arrived here over the last 20 to 25 years — mainly from China," Wang said.

To celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival, aka the Moon Festival, Wang's museum will hold a series of Autumn Moon Nights, which will focus on traditional, contemporary and reinterpreted popular Chinese culture. The story is much the same around the country.

Professor Ying Zhu, director of the Australian Centre for Asian Business at the University of South Australia, said Mid-Autumn Festival is a celebration of the autumn harvest. In China, it is a major event as it not only celebrates the harvest but also brings families together.

"Here in Australia where it (Mid-Autumn Festival) is celebrated in spring, its significance is perhaps not as important as if you were in, say, China. In many ways, it has become a multicultural festival which is celebrated by Chinese from many Asian countries who have made Australia their home," he said.

"Yes, it keeps people in touch with their traditions and culture, and brings together the family and friends. Here in South Australia the minister for multicultural affairs (Zoe Bettison) recently held a party for community leaders and scholars ahead of Mid-Autumn Festival. In many ways, it was a celebration of Australia's multiculturalism."

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