Lethal California taking pictures casts pall over Canadian Lunar New Yr festivities

VANCOUVER – The enjoyment of Lunar New Yr parades, events and different festivities was tempered with disappointment on Sunday following a lethal mass taking pictures in California that appeared to focus on folks celebrating the identical event.

Although in-person celebrations resumed in a lot of Canada for the primary time for the reason that onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shadow of the taking pictures in Monterey Park, Calif., loomed over a few of the proceedings.

A gunman killed 10 folks and wounded 10 others at a ballroom dance studio within the metropolis on the jap fringe of Los Angeles composed principally of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Individuals.

The assault got here following a Lunar New Yr celebration Saturday night time within the coronary heart of the town’s downtown core, the place purple lanterns adorned the streets for the Lunar New Yr festivities.

Whereas some attending Canada’s largest Lunar New Yr parade in Vancouver’s Chinatown had but to listen to the information out of California, Grace Chen stated she and her household had the victims on their minds.

“The tragedy occurred at a nasty time, throughout Lunar New Yr,“ stated Chen as she took within the parade alongside her husband and son. ”We’re praying for them.“

Parade-goer Thanh Nguyen stated he additionally heard concerning the taking pictures however doesn’t assume it poses a serious menace north of the boarder.

“I really feel extra protected right here,” Nguyen stated. “We have now a big group of Asians right here and I really feel it’s safer in Canada, and other people listed here are kinder.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, considered one of a number of dignitaries attending celebrations in Vancouver, stated his “coronary heart breaks” for the folks whose Lunar New Yr celebrations had been “violently attacked” and whose lives had been eternally modified by the taking pictures.

Trudeau stated that whereas it was good to see everybody collect to rejoice the Lunar New Yr in-person for the primary time for the reason that pandemic started, information of the taking pictures has additionally induced disappointment amid what must be a joyful time.

“We shall be there for no matter assist Canada can provide,” Trudeau advised reporters earlier than the parade obtained underway.

He stated he’s sending condolences to the households and buddies of those that had been killed and is holding the victims in his ideas.

Regardless of the tragic occasions south of the Canada-U.S. border, 1000’s of Canadians nonetheless took to the streets to formally usher in what the Chinese language zodiac system hails because the Yr of the Rabbit.

The beginning of the Vancouver parade was barely delayed as tons of of spectators jammed the parade route, many making an attempt to snap a photograph of Trudeau.

Allie Kung and her seven-year-old son, Alex Windsor, stated it was their first time attending and so they had been “having a blast.”

“We’re surrounded by so many individuals,” Kung stated in an interview. “We noticed the lion (dance), the dragon dancers and God of Fortune.”

Windsor chimed in to say it was “fairly cool” to see the Prime Minister be part of within the festivities.

In Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, over 110 folks packed into the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts for a day of Lunar New Yr celebrations.

Chris O’Neill, the centre’s govt director, stated her workforce labored with Acadia College’s worldwide scholar centre to place the occasion collectively.

Youngsters and adults made crafts together with woodblock rabbit prints and loved a feast of mung bean pancakes, dumplings and Korean cookies, she stated.

“It was really considered one of our largest group arts days ever,” O’Neill stated. “A part of it’s as a result of it’s such an vital vacation. However I feel there’s this sense that even in a rural group, there may be nonetheless an curiosity and want to discover different cultures and to guarantee that folks really feel welcome.”

Cities throughout the nation had been holding occasions to mark the event, although celebrations are anticipated to happen all through the 15-day Lunar New Yr interval.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the East Asian group in St. John’s will rejoice on Jan. 29 on the native farmers’ market. Organizer Tzu-Hao Hsu stated in a Fb message that this 12 months’s occasion will mark a return to in-person festivities after the pandemic.

The Chinese language Affiliation of Newfoundland and Labrador will host the occasion alongside the Memorial College Chinese language Youth Affiliation and the Memorial College Chinese language Pupil and Scholar Affiliation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Jan. 22, 2023.

— With recordsdata from The Related Press and Sarah Smellie in St. John’s, N.L.

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