Celebrating the New Year Far From Home: A Video Interview of Four Xizhou Residents
This is the first in a series of articles Kitty and I will be posting this month about Spring Festival and the Xizhou community.
As Spring Festival approaches, there seems to be a resurgence of energy in Xizhou. Having gotten through the quietest part of the year, the town is ready to gear up for the busier season. Small signs indicate the approach of the new year: children play with fire crackers in the streets, Let’s Food starts serving dumplings on a regular basis, new road blocks go up in town to keep cars and tourist carts out of the heart of Xizhou. Day by day, more tourists can be seen wandering through the streets, cameras at the ready, poised to capture the perfect moment.
Xizhou is a special place at this time of year. Lively and full of people doing business, there is excitement in the air. At the same time, the feeling for some is bittersweet. Spring Festival is China’s most important holiday, and the traditions and customs surrounding it revolve around spending time with family. In a place like Xizhou, where so many young Chinese people from other provinces have opened up shops and started lives of their own based around the burgeoning tourist industry, many people do not return home or take time off during the holiday as to do so would mean missing out on essential business.
For those who spend their Spring Festival away from home and away from family, there are new ways of celebrating, and of engaging with the Xizhou community. We decided to talk to four Xizhou residents, non-locals who are far from home, about how they relate to the upcoming holiday.
We recorded our conversations and made a video, we hope you enjoy it!
The team at the Linden Centre hopes that anyone spending the New Year in Xizhou, anyone feeling far from home during this time of year, feels welcome to join us for our Spring Festival events. Let our home be yours! Come and celebrate with us!