by Ndalimpinga Iita
WINDHOEK, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese community in Namibia has welcomed the Lunar New Year with high optimism for prosperity despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jacky Gao, who lives in the northern part of Namibia, said that the Lunar New Year declared as the year of the Ox represents steadiness that resonates with his mantra.
"This is the year of the Ox. Oxen are known to be hard workers, intelligent and reliable, but never demanding praise," Gao said on Friday.
Usually, Gao would travel to celebrate the most prominent traditional festival in China. However, due to COVID-19 stringent measures, like many Chinese people in Namibia, he observed the Lunar New Year differently.
Nevertheless, he resorted to a modified approach. Alternative activities included watching the new year's gala on China Central Television which featured dances, singing, comic skits, and cross-talk.
"Watching television is another way to bring family members together. Most Chinese people in Namibia chose to spend their new year at home. We couldn't invite our friends as we used to. Our goal was to obey the COVID-19 latest policy launched by the Namibian government," he said.
He is not the only one. The modified celebrations and Lunar New Year boundless spirit are observed across the country.
Gu Di, a businessman based in the capital Windhoek ushered into the new year with high hopes and drive to foster collaboration and nurture relations for improved results
Gu celebrated the Lunar New Year with employees and family. The company made sure that the factory employees experienced the new year's feeling and shared the hope of good things to come as customarily felt by the Chinese.
The 20 employees gathered in small groups of four people with decent protection based on the controlling measures of COVID-19 to clean and decorate the factory.
According to Gu, whitewashing the walls and washing the sheets were also done before new year, expecting to welcome the new year with everything fresh and clean.
Spring-cleaning, cooking and feasting on Chinese cuisine such as dumplings was central to the celebration.
Meanwhile, the modified celebrations during the COVID-19 pandemic have further ignited the ethos of hard work.
"We believe the year of the Ox will be a year of hard work and harvest. In this new year, we aim to cooperate for greater prosperity," he said.
People also exchanged best wishes for good health, business boom and happiness.
Moreover, for Gu, one of the key activities during the Spring Festival was posting pictures or couplets, including blessings and fortune making types.
"Furthermore, the red, oval-shaped Chinese lanterns with red or golden tassels are adorned on the light poles at our factory to drive off the bad luck and bring good luck," he said.
In the interim, locals in Namibia also embraced the hope and wishes of the Lunar New Year.
Foibe Endjala based in Windhoek said she was pleased to immerse herself in the Chinese culture and festival.
"Observing the celebrations reminded me of my wishes and dreams for the future. It sparked hope in me, and I re-committed to my goals," she said. Enditem