Envoy feels 'at home' with local CNY festivities


  • Nation
  • Friday, 31 Jan 2003

BY PAUL GABRIEL

KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese Ambassador Hu Zhengyue is looking forward to spending his second consecutive Chinese New Year in Malaysia, saying that the celebration here made him “feel very much at home.” 

SPRINGTIME:Hu with one of his prized possessions - a water colour painting of Chinese roses - at his residence in Kuala Lumpur.

He is particularly impressed with the display of Chinese culture and customs among the local Chinese community, and the way the Malays and Indians participate. Hu described his experience in observing the event here last year as “moving.” 

“From what I saw last year, I know that the Spring Festival (as the Chinese New Year is known in China) is a very important event in Malaysia. With open houses and the Chinese returning to their hometowns, it is an occasion reflecting the peace and harmony enjoyed by all Malaysians. 

“I really value your tradition of holding open houses. In China, we too value very much the opportunity to visit our elders during the festival. I’m so glad I’m not missing out on all the excitement here. 

“What we have in China, we can find here. I feel very much at home here,” he said in an interview at his residence in Lorong U Thant here. 

The 50-year-old envoy, who has adorned his residence with prized water colour paintings by China’s famed artists, will certainly have “company” for the celebration. 

Besides being joined by his daughter, who is returning from college in Singapore, some 100,000 Chinese tourists are headed here to spend the Chinese New Year holidays. 

“Many Chinese nationals, including the old, are very interested in visiting Malaysia. Our people will get a chance to see how Malaysians celebrate the (Lunar) New Year and how the Chinese live in harmony here. 

“Sightseeing and shopping are very important to our tourists, and Malaysia is a great venue for both of these,” he said, adding that about 500,000 Chinese nationals visited Malaysia last year. 

Hu, who was posted here in September 2001, said he was also very pleased with the way political and trade relations between China and Malaysia were shaping up.

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