Scores of Barbadians gathered in Church Village Greens, The City for the third instalment of the Fish and Dragon Festival over the weekend.
Marking the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the event was a potpourri of culture, featuring the Chinese rooster and the Bajan fowl cock merging to create an unforgettable character.
The garden was vibrant and filled with various characters and entertainers, including Chinese drummers and dancers. Patrons also got the opportunity to wear and take pictures in traditional Chinese clothing and immerse themselves in the culture, as well as sample fusions of Barbadian and Chinese delicacies.
The calligraphy booth was a popular attraction, as many stood in long lines to have their name written in Chinese by Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Barbados Wang Ke.
Festival director Adisa Aja Andwele said the event elicited a warm reception from locals.
And he attributed the increase in attendance to the new features introduced this year, namely, arches at the entrance and exit of the venue and the traditional décor – Chinese lanterns and firecrackers – throughout the venue.
“We started the ball rolling and we have to see where it goes from there. . . . In five years’ time you may have some person from the Chinese-Barbadian community singing at Crop Over,” commented Aja.
“This festival is growing, people are interested in Chinese culture. . . . The evolution has started and you have to see where it goes.”
Hundreds of patrons who gathered were wowed by the lovely voices of the Chinese children’s choir and the rooster–themed dance by local group Dancin’ Africa. Performances also came from Mosaic Steel Pan Orchestra, 1688 Ensemble Operation Triple Threat and the Haynesville drumming ensemble.
Ambassador Wang Ke expressed her delight at the large crowd which came out to experience and appreciate her culture.
“We made this Fish and Dragon Festival to share with Barbadian people the atmosphere of the spring festival, and we invite those local Barbadians to celebrate the New Year which us,” she said.
“This year is going to be the 40th anniversary for the establishment of diplomatic relations [between China and Barbados], so we regard this as a kicking off of the celebrations . . . .”