The impressively globalized leadership of Macomb County continues its efforts to expand relations between the Michigan and China.
Last month, MCEP (Macomb Cultural and Economic Partnership) hosted the Annual Chinese New Year´s celebration for the fourth consecutive year. China celebrates its New Year, not on January 1st as the rest of the world, but with the first New Moon of the new year. Celebrations last for 15 days and conclude with a Lantern Festival, which includes an evening parade of children holding lantern displays.
The Chinese New Year is also a deeply religious ceremony to celebrate Heaven and Earth, considered the gods of the Chinese homes and of their ancestors. This year´s celebrations marked the beginning of the Year of the Snake, according to the Chinese astrology, expected to to bring unexpected transformations and changes into our lives that will require our utmost attention to detail.
So this might be a great opportunity to expand in our relationship with the US's second most important trading partner, and further strengthen bonds with this ancient culture, through growing contact with some of the many Chinese nationals who study and work in Michigan.
Led by Fred Miller, President of the MCEP Board, Macomb County celebrated the 2013 Chinese New Year at the Frederick W. Pankow Center in Clinton Township with a lavish six-course banquet from Chinese restaurant Golden Harvest. Michigan Mandarin language teachers were also invited to attend this important cross-cultural event.
MCEP is active in its efforts to connect with China all year round, providing at the same time additional opportunities to support Macomb County's local economy. Activities have included a school trip to China with participants from five Macomb County middle and high schools. MCEP recently awarded a $10,000 donation received from AT&T to the Fitzgerald School District for its Students' Trip to China in the summer of 2014.
In 2013, MCEP will continue to look for host families to receive visiting Chinese students, to expand multicultural knowledge around Michigan.