SUVA, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese New Year celebrations on Thursday started here in Suva, capital of Fiji, with a performance by a visiting art troupe from China's Henan Province.
Dozens of guests from Fiji government departments, cultural organizations and local Chinese communities attended the opening ceremony for the event at the China Cultural Center.
The audience was impressed by the performance, which included singing and dancing, Chinese musical instrument playing, acrobatics, and intangible cultural heritage demonstrations.
Both Fijian and Chinese guests expressed high hopes for the upcoming Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb. 16, saying that sharing the joy of the festival will help promote the relationship between the two countries.
"By sharing our cultures, people in China and Fiji can better understand each other and deepen our friendship. Therefore, I hope we can celebrate Chinese New Year and other traditional festivals every year together with our Fijian friends," said Qian Bo, Chinese ambassador to Fiji.
Rosy Sofia Akbar, chief guest of the Fiji government and minister for health and medical services, said she was happy to see the bilateral friendly relations between Fiji and China have grown closer and closer.
"On behalf of the Fijian people and the Fijian government, I would like to wish Chinese families and communities a very happy new year, and I hope the friendship will continue to be everlasting," she said.
Alison Burchell, permanent secretary of ministry of education, heritage and arts, told Xinhua that Spring Festival, or the Chinese New Year, is always good for family reunion and renewal of friendship as it symbolizes harmony and good wishes.
Deng Xianfu, director of the China Cultural Center, said the center is a platform to introduce and share Chinese culture with local Fijians.
Gan Yuan, head of the Henan art troupe, said they are very happy to be in Fiji to present performances for Fijians and Chinese audience.
"It is an honor and duty for us to perform here in Suva... We hope our performances will surely entertain Fijians and local Chinese, further promoting the friendship between our two countries," she told Xinhua.
In the coming days, the Chinese artists will also perform at other venues in the capital city.