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Celebrations for Chinese New Year

Celebrations have been taking place in the county to mark the Chinese New Year.

More than 200 people met in Donnington, Telford, to enjoy a meal and some cultural entertainment including a traditional Lion dance and Chinese operatic singing.

The event on Saturday was organised by the UK Telford Chinese School, which meets at the Hadley Learning Community every Sunday.

Mayor of Telford and Wrekin, Councillor Stephen Reynolds, said it had been a brilliant afternoon.

He said: "Everyone has been so welcoming. There is a large Chinese community in the area which had such a diverse culture. I have been honoured to visit the school and also the cultural centre on Stafford Park in my time as mayor."

One of the stars of the afternoon was 21-year-old Victor Shaowen Chen, a student at Harper Adams University.

He sang, combining modern day music with traditional Chinese Opera.

"I live here for six months, studying and go home for the summer," he said.

"I love traditional opera and like putting modern music with it. I was asked to come here by one of the teachers – it is like being with the family."

One of the teachers at the school said family was extremely important in Chinese culture.

Nan Nan Isherwood from Bishop's Castle said: "Chinese people are very family orientated and here today it is like being one big family."

She said the UK Telford Chinese School had eight classes for children four to 18 and also an adult class.

"We also have traditional art and caligraphy classes," she said.

"We welcome everyone to the school."

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