Back to listMar 25, 2005

SGI Members Celebrate Lunar (Chinese) New Year in Northern California, USA and Singapore

San Francisco, California, USA: On February 27, 2005, SGI-USA members in the northern California area celebrated Lunar (Chinese) New Year at the San Francisco Culture Center. Some 600 SGI-USA members, mainly of Asian ancestry, gathered. A brilliant show comprising a lion dance, classical Chinese and Korean dances, traditional Chinese opera and a chorus graced the stage.

Classical Korean dance graces the stage
Commemorative photo with Chinese Opera artists
San Francisco (SF) Supervisor Fiona Ma (left) presents award to SGI-USA Vice General Director George Odano (center), while SF Police Department Chief Heather Fong (right) looks on
California Assemblyman Yee (right) presents award to SGI-USA Vice General Director Richard Yoshimachi (left)

California State Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Leland Y. Yee presented a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of the California State Assembly to the SGI for the SGI-USA members' contributions to Lunar New Year celebrations. Supervisor Fiona Ma of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors presented a similar certificate, on behalf of the Board, to the SGI on the same occasion. State assembly member Yee thanked the SGI-USA members for working hand in hand for the sake of the community and society as a whole. SGI-USA Vice General Director Richard Yoshimachi stated that with the youth spearheading the efforts, SGI-USA would further contribute to the betterment of society. San Francisco City and County Police Department Chief Heather Fong expressed confidence for a bright future by observing the SGI-USA youth and their bright, hope-filled countenance.

SSA youth participate in annual Chingay parade

Singapore: On February 19, the Singapore Soka Association (SSA) participated in the annual "Chingay Parade of Dreams," part of the national Chinese New Year celebrations, for the 23rd time. Some 100 SSA youth dressed in colorful costumes and using unique, giant mask props, representing "Peace," "Hope," "Prosperity," "Creativity," "Grace," and "Courage," appealed for everyone to advance with optimism.

SSA chorus members participate in "Voices of Spring--A Chinese New Year Song Singing Festival"

During February, in celebration of Lunar New Year, SSA also co-organized "Voices of Spring--A Chinese New Year Song Singing Festival," an ambitious event bringing together 700 performers for 17 performances at seven different venues, including the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts campus, River HongBao at Marina Promenade, and the Jurong Regional Library. During the February 5 launch at the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts Building, SSA General Director Ong said the festival was aimed at spreading a message of goodwill, peace and joy and to celebrate life through the heartwarming tunes and beautiful memories of spring. Yatiman Yusof, Senior Parliamenary Secretary of the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, stated that Singapore is a multicultural society where ethnic groups celebrate their respective festivals. Emphasizing music's crucial role in developing civic society and strengthening bonds between people, Mr. Yusof expressed his expectations for the for the festival to promote racial harmony by promoting appreciation for others' cultures and customs. He also believed it would unite the older generation, for whom many of the songs are filled with nostalgia, and the younger generation, who would be exposed to the beauty of traditional Chinese New Year songs. [Co-organizers included: the Singapore River HongBao Committee, the Choral Association (Singapore), North East Community Development Committee (CDC) and South West CDC. In addition, the National Arts Council, Nanyang Academy of Fine arts and the Juron Regional Library rendered their support.] (Story on the song festival was adapted from an article appearing on the SSA web site.)