The Forest Lake multicultural festival, hosted by the Hakka Association Queensland, was held earlier this month at the region’s eponymous lake, with splashing success.
Forest Lake festival chief organiser Florence Day explained that the Dragon Boat Festival celebrated the life of Qu Yuan, a great Chinese warrior and poet who committed suicide in the Mi-Lo river in 278 BC as a protest against political corruption of the day.
“To commemorate this sacrifice, the people, especially Hakkanese people, organise a Dragon Boat Festival in his memory,“ she said.
The races, a staple of the festival, were once again a crowd-drawer, with the audience on the edge of their seats as all four teams flew across the water.
The festival featured multiple multicultural food trucks and stalls, the iconic dragon boat races, and a number of performances from local musical and dance groups.
“The Hakka Association, in support of multiculturalism, organised performances by many different nationalities and invited many ethnic food stalls to participate. This event was such a success, it won the Community Event of the year at the 2011 Australia Day Awards,” Florence said.
“From the beginning, the multicultural groups were encouraged to be involved in this event. St John’s Anglican College has been a long term supporter, and for many years the students of the college have participated as competitors and fielded a Dragon Boat team.
“In more recent years the Forest Lake Runners have competed in the event.”
The event serves to put a spotlight on smaller communities in Forest Lake, helping to represent and familiarise the wider population with them.
“This event helped to promote the Hakka Association within the community,” Florence said.
“The Brisbane City Council is a major supporter of the Multicultural and Dragon Boat Festival at Forest Lake.
“The Queensland Government also supports the event, as does the Government of Taiwan.”