Councillor Tina Liu

The Lunar New Year is arguably the most important date on the lunar calendar, celebrated in many Asian cultures. Like many migrant families – myself, being a child of Taiwanese migrants raised in Australia – it’s somewhat of an east-meets-west experience, a colourful, vibrant medley of both cultures.

The occasion is not only to usher in the new year, but it is also a time for family and loved ones to come together. Food plays such an important part of Asian culture. Some of my fondest memories during this time is cooking with my family. In our household, it was not uncommon to see Lunar New Year dishes prepped alongside a traditional Aussie barbecue.

One of our long-held traditions is making dumplings – a much loved family recipe passed down through the generations. Dumpling making is an art form in itself – testing one’s folding skills and also patience – and always provided a good opportunity to catch up with relatives. These delectable morsels are a celebration staple, symbolising prosperity and good fortune or wealth, as its shape is reminiscent of a traditional gold ingot (‘yuan bao’).

The sharing of cultures, food and New Year greetings and well-wishes are certainly part of the celebrations, but most importantly it is the coming together of our community. As we usher in the Year of the Ox, I hope that like the animal it represents, 2021 will be a much more positive, fruitful, and diligent year for all.

It is also fantastic to see the annual Chinese New Year Festival that is usually run in Box Hill – which I have had the pleasure of being a part of – being embraced by locals of various backgrounds.