Gong Xi

That means congratulations and is used to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year! This celebration was organized by the Mortdale Stake with a lot of help from the Chinese Branch. Above you see Sister Fung welcoming us and right, Hwalia dressed for the party.

The decorations were beautiful. President Fung brought the lanterns from Hong Kong a few years ago and had them stored in his garage.

First we enjoyed a delicious Chinese dinner served up by the missionaries. Left you see Elders Newman Iino and Cummings with a recent convert. Right: Elder Elies, Blake and Elder Brown.

Wei and Sophie, left. Wei helped with the dragon dance and Sophie assisted with the dotting the eye ceremony. Chrystal, Lanlan, and Rebecca, right, are enjoying the food.

First on the program was the lion dance. There were three men under each lion doing an elaborate dance to drum and gong.

President Back, President Barton (Mortdale Stake) and the President of the Sydney temple were honored with “dotting the eyes” of the dragons. They painted the eyes and down the back with assistants that held the paint. That woke up the dragons for more dancing.

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Elder Tuipulotu led all the Mortdale Zone Elders and Sisters singing “Called to Serve”. Then led them singing “Gong Xi” in Chinese. The members of the audience that recognized the song were delighted and clapped along. I was happy to be playing my violin with them (it was hard for me to memorize the Chinese). Sister Lam provided the matching red ties.

The Sutherland Ward presented a delightful little fable describing how different animals came to be represented in the Chinese calendar.

 

President Fung demonstrated calligraphy, and taught President Campbell (counselor in the Stake Presidency) a few characters. It looked very advanced, but President Campbell did a really good job. Right, some of the girls in the Stake did a lovely job presenting a traditional Chinese fan dance. It was a fun evening!

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