Chinese New Year Q&A with Kai Luey

Kai Luey celebrates Chinese New Year with dinner at home with his family. Photo / Nick Reed
Kai Luey celebrates Chinese New Year with dinner at home with his family. Photo / Nick Reed

Kai Leuy, Chairman of the Auckland Chinese Community Centre

What is your Chinese New Year wish?

That we maintain our current harmonious and peaceful multicultural society plus economic prosperity for all as far as practicable.

What does Chinese New Year mean to you?

It's a time of celebration, of our family and cultural heritages. However, it means that I have the huge task of organising another annual Chinese New Year Festival & Market Day.

What are your goals for the Year of the Monkey?

To have a successful year as chairman of ACCC by completing our Mangere Hall refurbishment and extension project on time and within budget, and to secure a site from Auckland Council for our Auckland Chinese garden. To maintain good health and enjoy the various overseas holidays that we are planning.

What's the most interesting thing about you and your culture?

As a New Zealand-born Chinese, I am continually amazed at the extreme skill, artistry and innovativeness of many of the Chinese cultural performances both in New Zealand and China. The traditional art forms have obviously been passed down through the centuries together with the unique and colourful costumes.

How did you celebrate the festival as a child?

My memories of Chinese New Year growing up was saying "Gung Heir Fook Choy" to my parents, aunties and uncles and receiving a red packet cash gift. We had a family dinner with a few extra-special dishes on the day itself.

What traditions do you still keep, and how do you celebrate Chinese New Year today?

We give red packets to our grandchildren, and go to visit the graves of close family members. We do not particularly follow the superstitious practices such as not washing your hair so as to not wash away your good luck.

How will you be celebrating Chinese New Year?

All Chinese restaurants are very crowded so we will have a family dinner at home.

What animal zodiac sign were you born under, and do you think there are similarities between you and your animal sign?

Snake, which means that I am "intellectual, quick-witted, passionate and sometimes feared". I agree that this could be a reasonable description of myself but not really "sometimes feared".

- NZ Herald

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