The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and the Sri Lankan Poya Day may coincide as the case in 2020. This year, they are one day apart. The Chinese workers have planned to celebrate the festival this year with their Sri Lankan colleagues at their project sites.
by Tang Lu, Jamila Najmuddin
COLOMBO, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- These days in Sri Lanka, both locals and the Chinese living here are busy preparing for festivals related to the full moon. The day of Sept. 20 is the monthly Poya Day in Sri Lanka and the following day is the annual Mid-Autumn Festival in China.
Unable to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival back home with his family, Wu Jinghui and his Sri Lankan colleagues will celebrate their moon festival together at the construction site of the China-funded outpatient building of Sri Lanka's National Hospital in Colombo where they work.
The annual Mid-Autumn Festival is a very important festival for the Chinese people as it symbolizes family ties. Wu, a manager of the hospital construction project, cannot return to his home located in China's Shaanxi Province.
To make up for the loss of the chance to be together with his family, he decided to send them Lumomo, a Mid-Autumn Festival gift, through an online store. Lumomo is a kind of mooncake, bread stuffing baked in a fire. Wu has also sent a toy car to his 2-year-old son.
Wu came to Sri Lanka in 2018 to join the hospital construction project. His son was just a few months old when he was last time back at home in late 2019. The movement restrictions imposed in Sri Lanka over the COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020 have made it impossible for him to travel to China for vacations.
"What I miss most now is the company of my son. I'm sure my family will feel sorry for me not being able to go home for the holidays, but they all support my work and are proud that I am able to participate in Chinese construction projects overseas," he said.
"I often think that not everyone gets the opportunity to participate in the construction of the Belt and Road initiative. I will do my best," Wu said.
Cui Ming is the Chinese manager in charge of the Katana water supply project, a livelihood support project in Negombo undertaken by the AVIC International Engineering Corporation. Cui will this year celebrate his eighth Mid-Autumn Festival in Sri Lanka.
"My family used to ask me if I could come back and be with them during traditional Chinese festivals, but now they understand me," Cui said.
Lu Zeying and Pang Tusheng are husband and wife who work together at the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant located in Puttalam, built by a Chinese company. Since the commissioning of the plant in 2012, the couple has only spent one Mid-Autumn Festival in China.
Pang said "No matter how busy we are during the Mid-Autumn Festival, we will never forget to greet our families. Since we can't be with our parents all year round, we call our parents to greet them during festivals."
The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and the Sri Lankan Poya Day may coincide as the case in 2020. This year, they are one day apart.
The Chinese workers have planned to celebrate the festival this year with their Sri Lankan colleagues at their project sites.
Pang said "We will congratulate each other. Our local friends have always thanked us for working at the construction site in Sri Lanka far away from our hometown."
Wu said "Although I cannot eat the Lumomo, I will taste the mooncake here, enjoy the sight of a full moon together with the staff at the construction site, chanting 'Machan ('brother' in Sinhalese), happy festival' together. We will also pray for the completion of the hospital outpatient building at an early date."