Sydney home celebrates Lunar New Year

Residents, staff and local dignitaries welcomed in the year of the dragon.

Lanterns festooned the ceiling, banners adorned the walls and a bright red dragon greeted guests when the Bernard Chan Nursing Home in Sydney celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year last week.

Operated by the Australian Nursing Home Foundation, the 45-bed home in the inner-west suburb of Burwood caters for people from the Chinese and south-east Asian communities.

The Chinese Lunar New Year is an annual 15-day festival that in Western calendars begins with the new moon between 21 January and 20 February.

Held on 20 February, the home’s festivities – which ushered in the year of the dragon – also featured traditional dance performances while residents enjoyed morning tea.

Burwood mayor John Faker, along with federal and state elected representatives Sally Sitou and Jason Yat-Sen Li attended the celebrations – which are pictured below – and handed out lucky red packets, symbolising good fortune.

Addressing the residents, staff and ANHF executives, Ms Sitou said: “The people who live here are well cared for, but cared for in a way that respects their culture and traditions.”

Since 1980, ANHF has been providing residential and community care services for ethnic Chinese across Sydney – including nursing homes, in-home care, senior wellness centres, seniors housing, and caregiver support groups for patients with dementia. Culturally appropriate aged care provided by facilities such as Bernard Chan Nursing Home enables residents to stay connected to their roots.

“It has been over 100 years since we Chinese began coming to Australia,” said Mr Li. “And throughout this time we have continuously spread our culture … I believe we have contributed significantly to multiculturalism.”

Sydney is home to a strong Chinese presence, with over 500,000 immigrants living in the city. With a population of more than 13,100, Burwood has one of the largest Chinese communities in Sydney.

Dressed for the occasion in traditional Chinese clothing, Mr Faker said the local Asian community was highly regarded. “Our Asian community, especially our Chinese community, are very much valued, and that’s why we love not only celebrating Lunar New Year but sharing your culture and traditions.”

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Tags: Bernad Chan, Chinese New Year, John Faker, Json Yat-Sen Li, Sally Sitou,

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