Alfred Chi

Banner image: Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne, photo Jason Lu

Founding president of the Peranakan Association Australia.

Like many Australians, this is a time of celebration for Alfred Chi. Emigrating from Malaysia, Mr Chi takes pride in honouring the traditions and embracing the spirit of togetherness and happiness.

“How Chinese New Year is celebrated in China is what we do in Malaysia because we still want to maintain that connection,” he said. Traditionally there are 15 days of celebration, however, because it’s not a holiday in Australia, local celebrations are “more diluted”. Mr Chi’s family will visit a temple
during the first three days.

“We go there to pay respect to the Gods … it is the first thing that most people do,” he said. “You find the temple is usually crowded, joss sticks are being lit, but there is an atmosphere of celebration.”

Many of the traditions focus on bringing good luck for the year ahead, such as buying new clothes, wearing bright colours or hanging red cloth or banners on your home.

“There is the dragon dance, a noisy, big drum and firecrackers to drive away evil forces,” Mr Chi said.