Cultural and creative life

Friends come together to celebrate 50 years of Australia-China relations

How people find community at our libraries.

  • A traditional Chinese community dance group perform for parents and children at Darling Square

    2022 marked the 50th anniversary of China-Australia diplomatic relations. To celebrate, we hosted 2 special rhymetime events at our libraries.

    Credit: Abril Felman
  • Families loved watching a special traditional dance

    In celebration of friendship and shared culture, we asked the community what friendship means to them and how rhymetime has helped them meet new people.

    Credit: Damian Shaw
  • Performers show grandmother Junru and her grandson their instruments

    “It’s really important for me to make new friends in Sydney as I only know my close family. I’ve met new friends at places like libraries and parks where we come to look after our children and grandchildren. It means a lot to me and makes me really happy,” Junru said.

    Credit: Damian Shaw
  • Ren (left) and Li (right) at Darling Square with their grandchildren.

    “Living here in Australia, we spend a lot of time at home by ourselves. Bilingual rhymetime is a great place to meet other parents and grandparents and build friendships. Because it’s bilingual it means there are lots of Chinese parents – it feels closer to home and familiar. Adults can share experiences and recommendations about how to look after the kids – things like where the best swimming classes are when is the best age to go to kindergarten and which ones are good. It’s so hard for the older generation to pick up a new language, but we can come here and pick up some English words to understand conversation,” Li said.

    Credit: Abril Felman
  • Mei (left) and Cindy (right) met at rhymetime where their daughters became friends.

    “We met each other at bilingual rhymetime. It’s important to take our children to places where they can mingle with other children, not just adults. We want them to learn to share, play and hang out with others,” Cindy said.

    Credit: Abril Felman
  • Lilian and her daughter at Green Square Library

    “Friendship means being there for your friends when they need you. I’ve met some new mums since joining rhymetime,” Lilian said.

    Credit: Damian Shaw
  • Kseniia (left) and Emily (right) at Green Square Library

    “I’ve lived here for 12 years and my son was born here. Rhymetime is a great place to meet people, I’ve met many other parents. Me and Kseniia are good friends and we met here,” Emily said.

    Credit: Damian Shaw
  • Fiona and Andie are rhymetime and storytime hosts at our libraries

    Rhymetime (0 to 2 years) and storytime (3 to 5 years) take place at Darling Square, Green Square and Surry Hills libraries every week. We also have Auslan and bilingual sessions. They’re a great place for parents, grandparents and carers to meet new friends and be involved with a community.

    Credit: Abril Felman
  • Children watched the dancers in fascination

    Stories and songs were read aloud in both English and Mandarin and traditional Chinese dance and music was shared by local community groups.

    Credit: Damian Shaw

Developed in association with the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China, the events provided a wonderful cultural exchange demonstrating the City of Sydney’s ongoing friendship with Sydney’s large and vibrant Chinese community.

Find out more about events at our libraries.

Published 1 December 2022