Chinese embassies distribute Spring Festival kits to overseas Chinese
by Xinhua writers Bai Xu, Mao Pengfei, Tang Lu
When he received the Spring Festival kit from the Chinese Embassy in Australia, Zhang Jiayuan, a college student, couldn't wait to open it.
"Here inside the kit is a pack of the disinfectant wipes, tea, Chinese paper-cutting album, as well as a couple of other handicrafts," he said with a smile on his face.
He also received a greeting card signed by Chinese Ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye.
"Although I am not able to go back home for the festival, I felt the care and support of our mother country for us," Zhang said.
He is not the only overseas Chinese who has received the kit ahead of the Spring Festival, which is the most important holiday for the Chinese people, and also traditionally an occasion for family reunion.
This year, due to the pandemic, many overseas Chinese people have chosen to stay put for the festival following the suggestion of Chinese embassies -- essential and emergency travel only.
To show care and support for them, Chinese diplomatic and consular missions are to distribute Spring Festival kits before the festival "in light of the actual situation to bring the nation-wide festivity to them wherever they are."
In Cambodia, the package of the kit was beautifully decorated with the Chinese character of Chun, which means Spring, in artistic font and a picture of an ox, the zodiac animal of the year 2021. Inside the kit were masks, a hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes as well as some Chinese medicines.
According to Hu Wei, director of consular office in the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia, the kits were given to Chinese students, Chinese nationals working in Cambodia, as well as Chinese expats in difficulty.
"With the Spring Festival kits, we would like to convey our care and good wishes to the Chinese compatriots in Cambodia," he said. "Wish them a happy Chinese New Year."
Man Wenjing, who works at the Cambodian office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), received the kit on Wednesday.
"Away from our motherland as I am, I could feel the atmosphere of the Chinese New Year with the kit and care from our country, which makes me very proud," she said.
In Sri Lanka, Chinese dental technician Thoun Chishu Jemson felt happy when receiving the kit on Monday, which contained masks, gloves, disinfectant and Chinese medicine.
"In 2020, COVID-19 was very serious," he said. "But the (Chinese) embassy (in Sri Lanka) has always kept in touch with us and sent us masks and other epidemic prevention items."
"We were very grateful for the care of our motherland," he added.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese consulate-general in Osaka held a distribution ceremony online with participation of representatives from major overseas Chinese delegations and students' associations in Japan.
The Chinese missions in Bangladesh, Fiji, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore also distributed festival kits to Chinese nationals in the countries.
Xia Qichuan, a 16-year-old boy living with his mother in Canberra, said he would celebrate the Spring Festival with his mom. "We will get together with some other Chinese friends to make dumplings for the holiday," he said.
"There might be big trouble if we venture to go back," said Liu Jing, a doctoral student in Canberra. "After all, the COVID-19 situation globally is still serious."
Zhang Jiayuan who studies at the Australian National University said he would prepare a feast with friends and classmates for the eve of the Chinese New Year. "I will also video-chat with my parents to let them know that I am safe here."
"It is our wish that in the year 2021, we could all stay healthy," said Miao Changxia, counsellor of consular affairs with the Chinese Embassy in Australia.