Lantern Festival celebrations bring Chinese and Samoans together

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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End of Chinese New Year Celebrations at Apia Mission: Sister Zhu and President Hanneman bring together local Chinese families and Samoans together.

End of Chinese New Year Celebrations at Apia Mission: Sister Zhu and President Hanneman bring together local Chinese families and Samoans together. (Photo: Elizabeth Ah-Hi)

The Lantern Festival, which usually signifies the end of Chinese New Year celebrations, was observed a little late this year by local Chinese at the Samoa Apia Mission.

Chinese New Year for 2018 was upstaged by Tropical Cyclone Gita.

But a Chinese Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, Sister Zhu, persevered in gathering some local Chinese and Samoans to mark the occasion.

Sister Zhu told the Samoa Observer that it was great to see local Chinese mingling with other Samoans in their church held event even although language was a barrier.

“After I arrived in Samoa, I have learned how close the Samoan and Chinese are starting from 180 years ago,” said Sister Zhu. “There are around half of the people here who have Chinese ancestry, it is so amazing. Unfortunately many of them cannot speak Chinese.”

The Liang family from Canton, China, has been in Samoa for 10 years and this was the first time for them celebrating their New Year with local Samoans, Mr. Liang said. 

“China is like Samoa, when we celebrate the Chinese New Year, all the family and friends come together from overseas and every city and it’s like Christmas, they’re happy that they are together.

“I love Samoa. Here the Samoan people are good. I love their passion and they are very hard workers. I love the beach, the beer and the volleyball.”

The families and members of the Apia Church Mission sang songs and fellowshipped with each other. Even though language was a barrier, both Samoans and Chinese do have one common way of communicating – through their love of food. 

With a mixture of some delicious authentic Chinese and Samoan food, the event was declared a success by all.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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