Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

PHL Ambassador joins chinese new year festivities at abundant life centre in Wellington, New Zealand

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As a multicultural and ethnically diverse New Zealand puts the spotlight on celebrations and traditions of its various communities, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez, Filipinos, New Zealanders and people from other countries experienced a variety of flavours, colours, sounds and dances of Chinese culture at the Abundant Life Centre (ALC) in Wellington on 23 February 2014. Elders KC and Jet Chiew and the Chinese members of ALC prepared a culturally enriching programme of colourful dances and music and an array of Chinese food and dishes.

ALC Senior Pastor Hamish Thomson and Anne Thomson led the congregation in conveying greetings on this significant occasion. KC Chiew talked about the meaning of Chinese New Year and the importance of family, togetherness, sharing and caring amidst the celebrations.

Leading members of the Chinese community, Ms. Cam Chin Dowling and her husband Mr. Liam Dowling, together with their parents, Mr. Fred and Mrs. Grace Chin wore distinctively Chinese attire and showcased Chinese traditions of respect for elders and giving of red packets gifts to children and adults in ALC. The young girls from ALC proudly performed the Red Ribbon dance and Ms. Jet Chiew and her friends did the Happy Fan Dance and the Chinese New Year (Gong Xi Gong Xi) dances. Chinese New Year Yee Sang (Tossing the Fish) that seeks to bless the partakers prepared by Ms. Jet Chiew and other delicious dishes were served and enjoyed by all the guests.

ALC, known as the Church of Many Nations, provided another wonderful opportunity for closer friendship, greater understanding and deeper goodwill among peoples and ethnic communities in New Zealand.

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