Officials in Western U.S. extend Lunar New Year greetings

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Officials in the Western United States extended their greetings and congratulations upon the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year during an online celebration on Tuesday.

Officials in Western U.S. extend Lunar New Year greetings

Hawaii Governor David Ige extended the “warmest aloha” to Chinese people on behalf of the U.S. state located in the Pacific Ocean ahead of the Chinese Lunar Year of the Ox that begins Friday in a video message during the online event presented by the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles.

Aloha is a Hawaiian word for love, affection, peace, compassion and mercy.

“For over 230 years, the Chinese community in Hawaii has contributed to the economic developing and culture diversity of our state,” said the governor, adding that he looks forward to the new year to build upon the legacy of friendship between the people of Hawaii and China.

Hawaii has extensive relationships with China in economic, trade, cultural, tourism and other fields. The Aloha State has sister state/province relationships with China’s provinces of Guangdong and Hainan.

Speaking initially in Chinese in a video message, U.S. Congresswoman Judy Chu expressed her best wishes to everybody for good health and happiness in the Year of the Ox.

The congresswoman from California’s 27th congressional district, which includes Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley of Southern California, noted that the Chinese New Year is an important time for family reunions and she will always have fun memories of gathering with her family for dinner on the Chinese New Year’s Eve and wrapping dumplings with her mother.

The San Gabriel Valley is known for its vibrant Chinese American community as Chinese Americans make up over half of its Asian American population. The Chinese American community has been growing substantially in California in recent decades.

“Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has made these gatherings impossible for so many people and that it is why I am so grateful that the Chinese Consulate has found the way to hold this year’s celebration online. Even then this is time of social distancing, it means so much to be able to come together to welcome the New Year and celebrate our traditions,” the congresswoman said.

In 2009, Chu became the first Chinese American woman elected to U.S. Congress in history.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in her recorded video message for the event that it is a privilege to commemorate the start of the Year of the Ox.

“In the Chinese zodiac, the ox represents strength, reliability, fairness and hard work. As we work together toward recovery, the ox is the perfect symbol for the road ahead, bringing healing to our homes, workplaces and neighborhoods,” she said.

Citing a Chinese proverb, “If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else,” the supervisor of the most populous county in the United States thanked Chinese American communities for their generosity and kindness as the region overcame hardships.

“Your commitment will continue to shape our success in the years to come. And in 2021, we can move forward to a bright future for our friends, families and communities,” she added.

Kate Gallego, mayor of Phoenix, said in the event that “as we enter the Year of the Ox, celebrations will be a little bit different.”

The mayor of the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Arizona added that she hopes the Lunar New Year celebrations bring people “a sense of hope and renewal.”

Gallego said she wishes people “happiness, prosperity and wonderful new year.”

Nina L. Hachigian, deputy mayor of international affairs for the City of Los Angeles, also wished the Chinese American community in L.A. and everywhere a wonderful happy new year.

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“I think it’s going to be a much better one,” she noted.

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