House debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Statements by Members

Lunar New Year

1:50 pm

Photo of John AlexanderJohn Alexander (Bennelong, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Last week families across Bennelong and across Australia celebrated Lunar New Year. As an electorate with a very large number of Chinese and Korean families, this event is normally one of the highlights of the local calendar, with Eastwood becoming a riot of colour as locals host festivals and events in celebration. Of course, this year the celebrations were muted, in line with the COVID restrictions. Parties in homes were limited, and Eastwood restaurants were down on previous years. We must remember that this is the second year that this community has had to restrict its activities owing to the pandemic. Lunar New Year was the first large event of many to be curtailed by the coronavirus in 2020. At the time, we had no idea what we were dealing with. We didn't realise that it was so contagious or deadly or that it would still be with us 12 months on. We were also in the dark about its spread, and vicious rumours were being circulated on social media that it was already thriving undetected across Eastwood. While thankfully this turned out to be misinformation, it did have the effect of turning the restaurants on Rowe Street into a ghost town. So, as we celebrate another restricted Lunar New Year, we celebrate our hardiness and the things we have to be thankful for, like family and friends. Even more than normal, I wish everybody a prosperous and healthy Year of the Ox as we look forward to brighter times ahead.