The Alliance Party is co-sponsoring a Chinese New Year celebration with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce at Stormont on Tuesday, February 19 at noon. The event, which is to be held in the Long Gallery, will include the colourful Lion Dance and a Chinese buffet.
This is the second Chinese New Year to be celebrated in Parliament Buildings, following the success of last year’s. Alliance Leader David Ford and Chinese Welfare Association Chairman Shek Yung Lee will speak at the event.
Speaking ahead of the event, David Ford said: “The Chinese community is the largest ethnic minority in Northern Ireland and Alliance is delighted to celebrate the rich diversity of Northern Irish society at Stormont again.”
“Many people think of Northern Ireland as a place divided into two communities, Catholic and Protestant. In the Assembly we must work to overcome this perception, and give the voices of ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland space to be heard.”
“The Chinese community has contributed much to society here, and it is only right that politicians of all persuasions recognise the impact they have made.”
“There is much work to be done by the Assembly to improve community relations and inclusiveness. Racially-motivated attacks increased by 400 percent between 1996 and 1999 and race attacks on children have doubled in the same period.”
“The Chinese Lion Dance is believed to bring good luck and peace. My hope is that we in the Assembly can lead by example and demonstrate that Northern Ireland can be a place where people from all ethnic backgrounds can live together in harmony.”