Should it be known as 'Chinese New Year' or 'Lunar New Year'?


There is growing debate over whether the official name of the event known as 'Chinese New Year' should be changed to reflect the many ethnic communities that celebrate it.

It's one of the biggest events on the lunar calendar, but it's not just the Chinese community that celebrates what is widely known as "Chinese New Year".

Vietnamese man Anthony Ngo has attracted almost 2,000 signatures for his petition to the City of Sydney to stop calling the event "Chinese New Year".

"If I greet some Chinese man with 'Hey happy Vietnamese New Year' - it's not right," he said. "It's just like greeting a Vietnamese man with 'Happy Chinese New Year'."

Many organisations and local councils across Australia already referred to the event as "Lunar New Year."

Gill Minervini, from the City of Sydney, said the council held an online poll and community consultations but the overwhelming response was that people wanted the name to remain the same.

"If I greet some Chinese man with 'Hey happy Vietnamese New Year' - it's not right."

"We've had several petitions from various groups in the community and that's what the community consultation was partially responding to," she said. "There has been an opportunity for people’s voices to be heard."

But Ms Minervini said the consultations were ongoing, leaving open the possibility it could change in future.

"We're very keen to continue to have that door open. And I would say to people, like various members of the Thai community, Korean community, Vietnamese community that you continue to be involved - and the wider Australian community - it's all of our event."

Anthony Ngo said he would keep trying, and hoped to see change in the next Lunar year.

"I'll try again - I know Australia's value is to be open and give everyone a fair go," he said.


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