新年好 

06/02/2014 00:00 
Bravery, peace, good luck and happiness: the Chinese New Year got off to a roaring start at University College Hospital with a traditional lion dance to entertain and bless staff, patients and visitors.
 
Chinese New Year (also known as the Spring Festival) is regarded as the most important date in the calendar for many and is celebrated in countries beyond China, including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius and the Philippines. UCLH has 575 staff from these cultures – 7.6 per cent of our total workforce.
 
Lijun Zheng, a corporate finance manager, is one of them. “I’m so happy – this event is wonderful!” she said. Lijun’s father has flown from China to celebrate the New Year festival with her.
 
To a beating drum, the head-shaking, foot-jiggling lion entered through the front door and delighted the crowd – including UCLH chief executive Sir Robert Naylor - with its exuberant display.
 
Members from the Camden Chinese Community Centre handed out fortune cookies, seasonal cakes, oranges and sweets in bright red and gold packages. Traditionally elders give ‘Lei See’ (money in red envelopes) to young friends and family to bring good wishes. Oranges are also exchanged as a symbol of prosperity (the Chinese word for orange is the same sound as that for gold).
 
Organiser Susie Stewart, workforce coordinator, said: “Our staff – and our patients – reflect a diversity of cultures and we recognise the value and the vibrancy that comes from a multi faith culture. It contributes to making UCLH such an interesting place to work. 
 
“Events like this help promote greater understanding and unity – and are an opportunity for us to join our colleagues in their celebrations.”
 
Over the years membership development manager Ros Waring, as part of her membership community engagement work, has forged strong links with the Chinese community in Camden. She has helped organise a series of talks and presentations on nutrition and cardiology. Consultant cardiac surgeon John Yap is making a return visit this Friday to give a presentation.
 
Sir Robert thanked the Chinese community for their ‘friendship and support’ – before wishing them a very happy new year. 新年好!
 
PS: 2014 is The Year of The Horse, associated with promptness.  Many believe achievement will follow to make it a memorable year. Others believe it is particularly important this year to treat others with respect and not to take people for granted. Those who are born in the Years of the Horse are 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 are described as: Cheerful, quick witted and popular.
 

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