- BC Games
Asian communities host multicultural Lunar New Year in West Van
The North Shore’s many Asian communities are banding together to host a New Year’s celebration in February, complete with traditional food, clothing and dance.
Hazel Kang, a Grade 12 student at West Van secondary, is helping organize the event, where distinct Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Mongolian and other Southeast Asian ethnicities will be showcased on Feb. 8 at Park Royal South.
“We’re introducing our culture to the community,” says Kang, a member of the North Shore Korean Youth Committee.
“It’s been a very culturally enriching experience.”
The free event coincides with Lunar New Year on Jan. 31, the first day of the year in the Chinese calendar. Celebrations usually run until the middle of the month when the Lantern Festival takes place.
Last year hundreds of people gathered to watch vibrant dancing and singing from each country while sampling finger food.
This year festivalgoers can expect to experience many of the same attractions, including Korean pottery and traditional board game displays.
“There will be a traditional Korean fashion show,” says Kang, adding she expects excitement over models wearing hanbok, a style of Korean dress characterized by vivid colours and simple lines without pockets.
Helping organize the event, John Weston, MP for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky Country, says the fourth annual festival is sure to be “one of the best parties all year long.”
“I recall fondly the many Chinese New Year celebrations… from my years living in Asia, where I learned Mandarin, and met my wife Donna, who incidentally speaks Chinese far better than I do.
“But this celebration, here in West Vancouver, means a whole lot more.”
His office was a meeting place for the North Shore Korean Youth Committee and the Canadian Chinese Outreach Committee.
Jessica Li, a volunteer for the Canadian Chinese Outreach Committee, says anyone can get involved in the festival, especially the energetic drum dancing.
“It’s going to be a great way to show everyone who we are are through our multicultural program,” she says.