A large crowd turned out to celebrate Lunar New Year on Sunday, a day which was extra special for Baya Dean and the Indonesian Wide Bay Burnett Dancers.
The social group was asked to perform as part of the celebrations, sharing both cultural dance and dress.
Representing six of the thousands of Indonesian islands, the residents took to the stage one by one to share insights into their traditional dress and practices.
Among the dancers was Dika Bruce who was wearing the costume for Tari Lenso, or the handkerchief dance.
“People actually use that, it is for real in the, you know, old fashioned way of dating,” Baya said.
“So when you flick the handkerchief it means you have a lot of interest.”
Rika Gillard wore the elaborately decorated traditional Dayak tribe attire from West Kalimantan.
It was often decorated with natural fibres, beads and coins and was believed to protect its wearer from unfriendly spirits.
“It’s all hand stitched, we are lucky to have her grandparents and family to do that,” Baya said.
She said while they hoped to grow their group, at the moment they just met socially and had been practicing their routine but were surprised to see how big their audience was.
“…just to present our culture, being proud Indonesian ladies in Australia, Bundaberg, and showcase for our young ones what it is like [I’m] very, very proud because we got such an opportunity,” Baya said.
“Especially the council … they provide such a platform for us and invite us.
“I would like more engagement! I'm very, very overwhelmed and happy.”
Baya said the Lunar New Year celebration had been a tradition in her family and she was happy to share in the celebration with the Bundaberg community.
Year of the Rabbit fun at Lunar New Year celebration
There was plenty of family fun to be had at the Lunar New Year celebration, from craft activities to photo opportunities with a larger-than-life Peter Rabbit and Flopsy.
Bundaberg Regional Council’s Lunar New Year celebration was made possible with support from the State Government's Celebrating Multicultural Queensland funding round.