The Henderson Chinese Association may be a new organisation, but it’s already having a big impact. The not-for-profit was set up to promote traditional Chinese culture, music and dance. It also aims to serve the needs of the Chinese community.
The association has been up and running for only 12 months. However, it already has over 70 active members, including dancers, musicians and backstage helpers. Traditional dancing and music are a focus of the Henderson Chinese Association. According to the association’s Shubing Diao, it brings people of all ages together for shared fun and friendship. And it’s also a great way to celebrate Chinese culture with others in the community.
The association applied to the Your West Support Fund to help start a Chinese performing dance class. The aim was to prepare budding dancers for cultural performances.
‘The $5,000 funded a 12-week Chinese performing dance class to promote our culture and heritage dancing,’ explains Shubing. She says the money helped with venue costs, costumes, instructors and marketing.
The dance programme proved to be very popular and was a great success. ‘There was a lot of sweat and effort,’ declares Shubing. However, all that hard work has paid off as the association appeared at various community and cultural events. ‘We have performed at several New Zealand Chinese Association events,’ says Shubing. ‘And a real highlight was our performance at the Pasifika Festival,’ she adds.
Henderson Chinese Association plans to build on their achievements this year. ‘We’re not stopping now,’ declares Shubing. The association wants to involve more older people in the group. Shubing says getting older Chinese people to engage in community activities is a priority. ‘It reduces loneliness, and regular dancing also strengthens their physical and mental wellbeing,’ she advises.
Another priority is young people. Shubing says that groups like the Henderson Chinese Community ensure young people know more about Chinese culture and provide a creative outlet after school or on weekends.
The future looks bright for the Henderson Chinese Association as it continues to showcase Chinese culture and heritage. If you’re keen to get involved, then contact Shubing on 021974288.