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Feature: Residents enjoy Spring Festival in Xinjiang's multi-ethnic community

by Xinhua writers Liu Hongxia, Zhang Yuyang and Pan Ying

URUMQI, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Holding a brush pen in a graceful gesture, the 9-year-old Nazaket Parhatijan was writing on red paper the Chinese characters "Fu" and "Tu," which mean "blessing" and "rabbit" in English.

Parhatijan was attending a couplets-writing event for celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. The event was held by the Guyuanxiang Community in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

As in previous years, residents gathered at the community service center, writing couplets and sharing their hopes for the new year.

Guyuanxiang is a community with over 95 percent of its residents being ethnic minorities including Uygur, Kazakh, and Hui people. Residents here are enjoying a vibrant and harmonious life.

The 76-year-old resident Niu Shengqin has been a neighbor of a Uygur family for 60 years. "We are familiar with each other's lifestyles and customs," he said.

Aykiz Memet still remembers when her four family members were infected with COVID, the community's official Lina Adelbek delivered them food and medicine every day.

Memet said that it is the community workers that bolster residents' confidence to combat the pandemic.

"We are like a family," said Adelbek. She added that residents help each other and share joy and laughter.

"I am very happy when I see the grown-ups writing couplets because these couplets represent prosperity and reunion," said Parhatijan. She has been taking the Chinese calligraphy course that is set up by the community since she was six.

"We offer the kids of our community extracurricular classes including dancing, calligraphy, science, and traditional Chinese culture, all of which are enjoyed by them," said Azgul Kerim, Party chief with the community.

The community has also set up a day-care center for elderly people, providing them with a variety of leisure activities that help their relationships grow, added Kerim.

"Ethnic groups' expectations for a better life have become much more diverse," Kerim said, adding that the community will do more concrete things for the residents in the new year.