AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese New Year gala night on Sunday has connected thousands of Auckland residents with unique experiences of the Chinese culture and performances.
The 2023 Happy Chinese New Year Glories of Huaxing Gala Night, co-organized by the China Cultural Centre in Auckland and the New Zealand Huaxing Arts Troupe, was unveiled by New Zealand Maori Haka and traditional welcome ritual.
Traditional and contemporary Chinese dances and songs, Chinese cross-talk, magic show, Peking opera, Qipao display, violin solo and chorus have featured the event, which won thundering applauses from several thousand local audiences.
Jason Sun from the audience was amazed by the performances. "I was born in Hubei Province (China). Today's gala night brings back those familiar songs and memories from my hometown," said Sun.
Chen Shijie, Chinese consul-general in Auckland, said in his opening speech that Sunday's gala night was part of the cultural exchange between China and New Zealand.
Last year was the year of the Tiger. The two countries also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations last year.
With the spirit of tigers, both New Zealand and China have overcome difficulties and weathered the storms of the pandemic and economic hardship last year, said Chen.
While in the new year of the Rabbit, with the optimization and adjustment of epidemic prevention policies in China, personnel exchanges between China and New Zealand are gradually returning to normal. People from all walks of life in the two countries are looking forward to more face-to-face exchanges, said the consul-general.
Mike Dawson, chairman of the Auckland Branch of the New Zealand China Friendship Society, hoped that the two countries will continue to promote friendship, understanding and goodwill between the two peoples.
Toni van Tonder, chairperson of the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board, was delighted to see a wonderful blend of the Chinese community in the local community and wished everyone enjoy the Chinese New Year celebration.
As Auckland was experiencing severe weather recently, van Tonder was touched to see the Chinese community working together with the local residents in helping each other out.
"What we have seen is a wonderful blending of New Zealanders and Chinese volunteers coming together, helping each other and making this place safer, healthier and happier for everyone", said van Tonder.
Chinese Traditional Lunar New Year Culture Exhibition was also held at the theatre hall. ■