Relishing a different Spring Festival in Mauritius ( An Essay written by Chinese Ambassador in Mauritius)

Many friends in China don't know that Mauritius, which is located far southwest of the Indian Ocean, is not only a tourist paradise, but also the only country in Africa that lists Chinese Spring Festival as a statutory public holiday. Although the Chinese here only account for less than 3% of the total population, Chinese culture has long been an important part of the multiculturalism of Mauritius. On the day of the Spring Festival, Mauritian people will take friends and family to visit Chinatown in Port Louis and buy some Chinese snacks such as spring rolls and fried glutinous rice balls with sesame. They will visit the temples with Chinese cultural characteristics and give the children candy and red packets. On the Eve of the Spring Festival, you can see the dazzling fireworks in all parts of Mauritius. You can hear the laughter from the neighbourhood , and the whole country is immersed in a joyful festive atmosphere.

During the Spring Festival, the Chinese Embassy in Mauritius and the Chinese Cultural Center will jointly hold a series of celebrations of "Happy Spring Festival", which are diverse and rich in content, to bring more festive joy to the Mauritian friends. At the Spring Festival reception hosted by the Chinese Embassy this year, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Ministers and other government officials, as well as diplomatic envoys and friends from the Chinese communities and Chinese-funded institutions gathered together for a festive reunion in a warm atmosphere. The Embassy also carefully arranged a photo exhibition featuring the 40th Anniversary of Reform and Opening-up , which attracted guests including Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth to stop and watch. They were amazed at China's earth-shaking changes in the past 40 years.

On the occasion of the Chinese traditional Spring Festival, Mauritius will also hold a grand Spring Festival Gala. The Embassy and the Chinese Cultural Center invite the outstandingChinses art troupe to present a feast of Chinese culture and art to the Mauritian friends. Before the upcoming 2019 Spring Festival, the Embassy held a lively float parade in collaboration  with the Mauritius Chinese Association and the Ministry of Arts and Culture as well as the capital City of Port Louis. The people of all walks of life in Mauritius took to the streets and beat drums to celebrate the Spring Festival which belongs to both countries.

Looking back on the past 2018,it is of historic significance for China-Mauritius relations. In July, President Xi Jinping made a historic goodwill visit to Mauritius during a stopover. In September, Mauritian Prime Minister Pravind Jugnaut went to China to attend the FOCAC Beijing Summit. The two countries signed a number of cooperation documents, among which the Sino-Mauritian Free Trade Agreement negotiations officially ended, and it will be recorded in the annals of history as the first free trade agreement between China and African countries. The leaders of China and Mauritius have exchanged visits within one year and have drawn a grand blueprint for the future development of China-Mauritius relations, which have pointed out the direction for pragmatic cooperation between the two countries in various fields and pushed bilateral relations to a new level.
Looking forward to 2019, we will usher in the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. We will actively promote the continuous development of China-Mauritius relations and present it as a gift in celebration of the70th anniversary of the great motherland!
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