Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Welcome to the Year of the Rat

This is not Beijing

Nor Shanghai

but Sydney

Labeled as the biggest Chinese New Year Parade outside China (mainland), as a Sydneysider I am as proud as Sydney Lord Mayor to said so.

The parade that took over part of George Street –Sydney City bloodstream- passed through Chinatown and finished in Darling Harbor lasted only about1.5 hours, with around 80,000 crowd flocked on every inch of the street passed by parade, and in some place it was like 4 people deep. But somehow, made me feel I’m not in Sydney, nor China, but Indonesia.

When I was a young –I mean kid, because I am still young now-, we –Indonesian- had big parade once a year, on Indonesia Independence Day. Some small cities done quite simple with people marching with traditional costume represent tribes and cultures of Indonesia. As I grown-up –mean high school student- I found the Independence Day Parade as the way we compete against other high school to perform the best car decorated with a theme. Biggest parade –of course- is in Jakarta. With cars decorated with flowers, every province sent their contingent to this biggest parade in Indonesia. There are Government and Private Offices to. And TVRI –the only one national television back to my era- had the live coverage of this parade, people all around Indonesia seems glued to their TV, watched this parade with joy of Independence Day.

I don’t think that such Independence Day Parade still exist in Indonesia now. Not that I’ve known. Sad.

Back to Sydney, this Chinese New Year Parade is getting bigger and bigger by year. Not only from the amount of spectators, also had had the presenter or groups joined the parade itself. More people or groups flew direct from China to present. I can wrap only in one word about it is: fantastic! And if you don’t bother to watch this parade behind the fence, standing for like 1 hours before it starts to secure the best view you can get, now City of Sydney sell some best view seat for $55, located in front of Town hall and guarantee you’ll sit close to Sydney Lord Mayor and the Councilors. Good isn’t it? This city moved quickly when it comes to generate money.

Anyway, welcome to Year of the Rat (or Year of the Mouse as my son said).
Gong Xi Fat Choi.
All The Best

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