Chinese New Year provides the perfect opportunity to explore each others culture and heritage. For the Chinese community in Northern Ireland we plan and prepare all year to showcase the very best of our music, dance and cuisine and to share these with other local communities.

Language is a vital part of our identity, it connects us, and is at the heart of our New Year celebrations. We realise that just as we have different languages in China including Cantonese, and Hakka with Mandarin seen as the official language ,Northern Ireland also has Irish and Ulster Scots alongside English.

As we explored the rich history and culture of Northern Ireland in our I in NI project in 2021, we were excited to learn more about the rich, diverse heritage of this part of the world. Language is central to this cultural exploration and we have engaged with both language communities and been privileged to share with them.

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Watch  the memorising cultural fusion!


Our aim is to learn and share in a real cultural fusion which celebrates the similarities and points of contact. This explains why you will hear Scottish and Irish music, and Ulster Scots and Irish language at our Chinese New Year Festival and other events we organise. We believe that after over fifty years our language, music, dance and traditions now form a part of the heritage and culture of this part of Ireland and the United Kingdom.

We wish to thank the Ulster Scots Agency for sharing our vision of cultural fusion and links through language and for investing in our Chinese New Year celebrations. With their support we have explored the centuries of connections between our countries, and the incredible role people from here played in China. Our community here has been able to learn more about the history and heritage of this country and in turn to reflect on their input and legacy. Above all we have made some great friends and formed important partnerships with language and cultural groups from different sections of the community here making us… stronger together !

Festival review

I in NI

Our recent exciting journey into local history and heritage began in 2020 as the Chinese community responded to the Centenary of Northern Ireland. This meant different things to different communities because of the contested nature of our county’s past. The Chinese community had traditionally steered away from such events as they wanted to remain neutral and not to ‘take sides’. However it was felt that because of the progress of the peace process, the wider positive and inclusive nature of the ‘Decade of Centenaries’ and the interest from our community to learn and explore that we should use the Centenary of Northern Ireland to reflect on what it means to be Chinese living here.

We worked with a range of other minority ethnic communities to learn and reflect on what it means to live here, what we think about identity, the legacy of the past and our hopes for the future. The project was entitled I in NI and was a rich mix of history, heritage, and hopes for what could be. It was the inspiration for our engagement with both the Ulster Scots and Irish speaking communities and the start of that journey. So why not join us and explore what it means to be an I in NI.

Visit I in NI

CWA Youtube Ulster Scots community network Ulster Scots Agency Northern Ireland screen