Eileen's Room


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Celebrating Chinese New Year in Canada

When Eileen Lao moved to Richmond, B.C., 10 years ago from Guangzhou Shi, Guangdong, China, with her husband and daughter, celebrating Chinese New Year that first year was a little bittersweet. For Lao, one of the most important parts of the holiday is being with family and close friends.

“When I was young, the best part of Chinese New Year was getting together with different family members and close friends in the neighbourhood and we would make Chinese New Year food together,” she says. “We handmade the fried dumplings one week before the new year. Those were my favourite.”

Everyone would gather and judge whose dumplings were best. “That was the sweetest part of the celebration for me,” says Lao, who is the public affairs manager for immigrant services agency SUCCESS.

After they moved to Canada, that tradition changed  — “there are so many choices here for food, so we don’t have to make it ourselves” — but she felt fortunate to find a group of friends that she would share the holiday with in years to come. “I call these friends our extended family here,” says Lao with a smile. “We usually have a gathering on Chinese New Year Eve. It’s important we keep the Chinese traditions and share it with our kids.”

Sharing Chinese New Year traditions

Traditions like the red pocket, where adults give money in red envelopes to children. “For kids, we have kept that tradition. We used to put cash only, but now we have more choices. Sometimes we give a gift card or lottery ticket, as it’s about luck for the new year. Or even chocolates. It’s not just about money, but about the wish you pass on for our next generation.”

Cleaning and organizing the house is also an important part of Chinese New Year for Lao. “It’s not just about keeping house a clean and tidy; it’s symbolic for the end of year. You cleanse for your next year. You might also add new decorations for the house or change something. It’s about keeping you happy and ready for a new year,” she says.

Lao start cleaning well in advance; in fact, Chinese New Year is a 15-day event, which caps off with a traditional lantern festival. “The lantern festival is on the 15th day and marks the first full moon in the Chinese calendar. It marks the return of spring after a long winter and symbolizes the reunion of family.”

Communities across Canada join in such festivities with lantern-making activities and Chinese New Year events and parades like the annual Vancouver Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown, featuring the popular lion dance, which will take place this year on Jan. 29. “I enjoy the richness of it here,” adds Lao, who is also a dedicated supporter of Canadian heritage as a director with the Barkerville Heritage Trust in northern B.C. “It’s very festive and it’s not just about Chinese traditions, but we can also appreciate celebrations from other communities.”

Year of the Rooster

The rooster is 10th of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac. Years of the Rooster include 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and 2017. If you are born in a Year of the Rooster, here is a little Chinese folklore for you.

Lucky colours: gold, brown, yellow

Lucky numbers: 5, 7, 8

Lucky flowers: gladiola, cockscomb

Unlucky colour: red

Unlucky numbers: 1, 3, 9

Personality traits: observant, hardworking, confident, courageous, talented, frank, honest, amusing, charming, popular

Best-suited careers:  salesperson, restaurant owner, athlete, teacher, farmer, journalist, dentist, soldier, police officer, surgeon

Best love match:  ox, snake

Worst love match: rat, rabbit, horse, pig


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Do you know about Trade Commissioner Services (TCS)?

Hundreds of Canadian companies are active in China. What are the views of some premier Canadian firms on the opportunities presented by the China market, the challenges of doing business internationally, and what the Trade Commissioner Service can do to help them explore new markets.

If you’re a Canadian SME and have questions about doing business in China, e-mail to SMEgateway@international.gc.ca. All services of the Trade Commissioner Service are free of charge to qualified Canadian clients

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Barkerville a guest at the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations Grand Inauguration of the 6th Executive Team Ceremony in Vancouver’s Chinatown

Barkerville had the pleasure of being a guest at the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations Grand Inauguration of the 6th Executive Team Ceremony in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Chief Executive …

Source: Barkerville a guest at the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations Grand Inauguration of the 6th Executive Team Ceremony in Vancouver’s Chinatown

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我和渥列治中心(Oakridge Centre and Me)

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第一次到温哥华渥列治中心(Oakridge Centre )是因为买车。大概8年前吧。像很多的新移民一样,买的第一部车都是二手车。车主是同事的朋友的朋友,单身、女性、从事会计工作。车落地后,一直小心保护、定期保养。因为要回流香港,所以要处理所有的财产。基于安全原因,我们选择在Oakridge Centre 交接。

常在地铁站看到Oakridge Centre 的大幅广告,模特时尚、优雅,很吸引眼球。

周末, 商场繁忙、热闹但不拥挤。最近,这里举办梵高复制画展(Van Gogh Museum Exhibition on Tour),利用3D技术复制的几幅著名油画。

我不常逛街,Oakridge Centre是我喜欢去的地方,为的是那份悠然、时尚和人气。

有空到Oakridge Centre 感受一下时尚,见见朋友,逛逛店,读读书,还可以赏赏画(3月27日前)。

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