North Wicklow's Chinese residents have formed a new support group
In North Wicklow, there is a large Chinese population, members of which have now organised themselves into a group to help with integration into Irish society and provide support for new arrivals from the Far East.
The Southside Chinese Residents' Association held their inaugural meeting and information day at the Harbour Bar in Bray last week, where guests were treated to Chinese finger food, karaoke, traditional Irish music and a dancing presentation by 11-year-old Katie Wong, who lives in Woodbrook Glen and attends the Chinese Irish Cultural Academy in Dublin.
The association aims to help its members to develop friendships within their communities by breaking through any barrier which may be caused through language, cultural differences or religious diversity.
We are very grateful for all the support we have been given for this initiative,' said secretary of the association, Summy Wong. Bray town council, the citizens' information bureau and the Gardaí have been very kind, we really need their continuous support'
A garda representative who was present at the event explained that Gardaí will be working closely with the Chinese community to help with issues such as language and crime prevention. They will also be supporting activities for children and holding information talks about certain aspects of life in Ireland.
There is a huge population of Chinese people in Bray,' said the garda. And we hope to help bring the two communities together in terms of things like language and arts and culture.'
The association hopes to help its members to have a broader knowledge of the important issues about the law, medicine, education, and business, which will impact on their quality of life in Ireland.
Professor Juang Tao, honorary president of the Southside Chinese Residents' Association, particularly enjoyed the traditional Irish music and looks forward to a bright future for the Association. I hope that this will be a focal point for the hundreds of Chinese people in the area so that they can get together and mix with Irish people,' said the retired professor of astronomy.
The association members say that all Chinese people have a role to play in making their time here worthwhile and enjoyable and in paving the way for a smooth integration for future immigrants.