President of the Bahamas China Friendship Association, Anthony Capron said the one thing that the Chinese Spring Festival and The Bahamas’ Christmas Junkanoo season have in common is that they bring families together.
Mr. Capron brought remarks at a reception celebrating 2016 China Spring Festival held by the invitation of His Excellency Yuan Guisen Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and Madame Yang Hong at the British Colonial Hilton, Sunday, January 31, 2016.
Mr. Capron said, “Here, the children come home from being away in school, as well as relatives living and working abroad. And that is what is being seen all across China today as the Spring Festival rush is on and millions of travellers are clogging the transportation system as they hurry home to reunite with their families.”
He noted that the Chinese people in this modern era are among the leaders in the world when it comes to talk about history, culture and traditions. “Who else in this day and time can trace their festivals back more than 4,000 years?”
The Association’s President said this New Year holiday, which is also known as the Spring Festival, is the longest holiday period in China and last for 15 days. This year it will end on February 22.
“We should be so lucky in The Bahamas to have such a long holiday for our traditional Junkanoo experience, which until recent years was expressly the highlight of the Christmas season, with parades on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
“That has changed somewhat over the years and is continuing to change as Bahamians have come to recognize Junkanoo as an economic stimulus and it is now being showcased everywhere in The Bahamas, for every occasion – special and not so special.”
Mr. Capron said in the third New Year’s address of his presidency, President Xi Jinping, this week called for confidence and hard work for a good beginning in the home stretch of building a ‘well off society in an all-around way’. He noted that his top concern is to lift tens of millions of people out of poverty and stated that care should be given to all people facing difficulties.
“We in The Bahamas can take a page out of the President of China’s playbook. With a total population of fewer than 400,000 people, that may seem a difficulty for individual political parties, but it should not and cannot be an insoluble problem for the Government of The Bahamas.”
He explained that the needs of all the people should always be paramount in the planning of the government and not the wants of individuals.
Mr. Capron said at this point in time the country was hoping to be enjoying the amenities of a very busy Baha Mar Resort on Cable Beach. “While that is not yet happening, we can certainly share in the Prime Minister’s (the Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie) optimism that the Export-Import Bank of China will complete the construction and the hotels will soon be open to the public and to the world.”
He said the country can also be appreciative of the Chinese government for what is now being done at the British Colonial Hilton, and what will happen just west of it when they begin work on what will be known as The Pointe. “Also, we cannot forget that there is the promise of the redevelopment and revitalization of Bay Street, especially the uptown section, which over the years has become a blight and an eyesore on the Nassau landscape.”
The Chinese Ambassador welcomed his invited guests and wished them a Happy Chinese New Year, and throughout the evening, guests were treated to traditional Chinese dishes and exciting door prizes.