Reporter Journal / Chang Jun

More people around the world now share Chinese New Year joy

By Chang Jun (China Daily USA) Updated: 2016-02-09 14:25

More people around the world now share Chinese New Year joy

Fireworks explode in San Francisco on Feb 6. Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

The Spring Festival, or chunjie in Mandarin, seems to have transformed from the most celebrated traditional holiday in China into an international festival. People around the world are showing more interest in Chinese culture and learning from its cherished values.

From news and social media clips, I saw African children shouting slogans with Chinese enterprises�� staff there to wish China prosperity and strength; Sydney, Australia setting off fireworks; and London putting on a parade and a series of performances on Trafalgar Square.

In San Francisco, what especially impressed me was a video released on Feb 6 by Mark Zuckerberg, founder of social media giant Facebook. He spoke Mandarin with his wife Priscilla and 2-month daughter Maxima, both in red outfi ts, to celebrate Chinese New Year and wished Chinese users health and good fortune. The couple also revealed that they have picked a Chinese name for Maxima: Mingyu, meaning "our hope for a brighter tomorrow".

In the video, Zuckerberg mentioned Facebook's Chinese New Year celebration, which includes the company hosting seven top chefs from China to join their Chinese Cuisine Week program and cook authentic Chinese dishes at the company kitchen in Menlo Park, California, for three days.

Believing culinary skills and cuisine will link people together, the Chinese Consul General Luo Linquan in San Francisco visited Facebook headquarters on Feb 3 to welcome the Chinese chefs.

"Food keeps one's stomach warm and heart happy," said Luo, adding that Chinese food would serve as a bridge for Chinese and Americans to increase mutual understanding and people-to-people exchanges.

Dave Poth, lead chef at Facebook, said he was impressed by the professionalism his Chinese counterparts demonstrated and said they didn��t need translators to communicate.

"Food is food, and it's universal," he said. "To work with a group of top chefs from China is like a dream come true."

Zuckerberg said the duck was his favorite dish.

The consulate general threw two New Year receptions in a row to enhance the festive atmosphere. At a Jan 27 event to which California Governor Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee were invited, Luo characterized 2015 as "a year of great signifi cance for China-US relations. More people around the world now share Chinese New Year joy

Citing President Xi Jinping's state visit to the US in September as a breakthrough, Luo noted that China and the US have reached consensus on 50 important issues.

"The two countries agreed to push forward negotiations on a Bilateral Investment Treaty, expand the mutually benefi cial cooperation in energy, environmental protection, science and technology, aviation, infrastructure construction, agriculture, public health and other areas," Luo said.

Luo encouraged the overseas Chinese in the Bay Area to actively integrate into US mainstream society, help boost China-US cooperation, popularize Chinese culture, and deepen the American people's understanding about China.

Maggie Luo, a fi nancial professional in the Bay Area and a mom of two young children, worked with other parents to stage a Chinese cultural performance in her neighborhood primary school before Chinese New Year's Eve.

"I'm proud of being Chinese, and we have such a long history of civilization,�� Maggie Luo said. "To let our children cherish their cultural heritage is our responsibility."

Happy Chinese New Year!

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