COLOURFUL CULTURE: The Chinese lion dance is always guaranteed to draw a crowd.WORDS 339
COLOURFUL CULTURE: The Chinese lion dance is always guaranteed to draw a crowd.WORDS 339

Passionate Ruby unites cultures at Festival

RUBY Eaton is equally passionate about Australia and China, and each year helps others to learn the best of both cultures through the Central Coast Chinese Cultural Festival at the Entrance.

Ruby, 52, came to Australia about 13 years ago and loves her new home as much as the old.

"I still love China of course, but I love the Central Coast - the beautiful environment and fresh air, so this is my new home," Ruby said.

"I work very hard to promote the area and this event so people can get to know each other and appreciate the Chinese culture."

The festival, from 10am-3pm on Sunday, September 17 is in its seventh year at The Entrance Memorial Park and entry is free.

It is organised by the China Australia Friendship Association, of which Ruby is president.

"We wanted to have a group so people of Chinese background could come together and share things and help other new residents to know Australian culture and values," Ruby said.

"The festival is a chance for people to get to know us.

"We think our culture is beautiful and we are very happy the festival is one special day when we can show that and share it with other people."

Those people, she said, were of all ages but especially seniors and families.

This year's festival will include the ever-colourful and dramatic lion dancing, martial arts, Chinese dance troupes and bands, traditional Chinese opera and other performances.

There's also wonderful Chinese food to taste, teas, herbal medicines, crafts and instruments to admire.

Each year the event also celebrates The Moon Festival, the second most important Chinese festival after New Year, when families traditionally gather and admire the beauty of the full moon and eat moon cake - a special sweet pastry you can sample at the festival.

But while it remains the focus, it is not just Chinese culture on show, with the festival now the biggest multi-cultural festival on the Central Coast, with other nationalities taking part including Aboriginal, Indian, Philippine and African.


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