This past Wednesday I took a walking tour of Chinatown with my Intercultural Communications class! The day started at 9am where we met in the CAPA building, and then took a short walk to Chinatown together. The class met up with our tour guide, George, who excitedly greeted us through his headset. His tour assistants gave each of us a red envelope with candy inside to signify a wish for a sweet new year. George then gave us a brief introduction to what we would be doing that day. Because Chinese New Year was coming up, the whole town was adorned with red and gold decorations to symbolize good fortune and luck for the new year. We started walking around and stopped in many important stores, banks, and restaurants that are quintessential to Sydney’s Chinatown. George knew many of the store owners, who welcomed us into their establishments to let us look around to get a grasp on the culture. We then stopped at the Golden Water Mouth tree. The plaque on the ground next to the iconic landmark states that “Australian and Chinese cultures are signified in the combination of materials creating a Yin-Yang harmony using Feng Shui,” and that the “five Natural Elements of gold, wood, water, fire, and earth have been incorporated in the design in order to encourage positive energy and good fortune.”
After the tour was over, the group went to a traditional Yum Cha meal that was organized for us. There were courses of dumplings, noodles, spring rolls, and much more. Overall, we learned so much about Chinatown and can’t wait to return!