June 28, 2022
The 31st World Hakka Conference is officially closed. With over a thousand guests from overseas and locally, the first-ever World Hakka Conferece taking place in Canada is concluded to be a huge success. Delegates from 14 different countries and 4 provinces in Canada gathered in Markham for a happy gathering.
The World Hakka Conference was held from June 24th to June 26th in Markham, the capital of Hakka in Canada. After bidding in 2017, preparation in 2019, and holding in 2022, it took five years to for the Canadian Hakka people complete this feat . The World Hakka Conference was originally scheduled to be held in October last year, but due to the impact of the pandemic, it was forced to postpone it to this year. One of the co-chairs, Markham Regional Councilor Joe Li said that the pandemic affected the preparation of the conference, and also brought up concerns of the participants about their health and safety. Nevertheless, the preparatory work for the conference has not stopped for a moment, and finally it is held as planned.
The three-day event has a packed agenda. At the opening ceremony on the 25th, the Distinguised Hakka leaders Awards was given to six outstanding Hakka leaders, including the Hon. Vivienne Poy, the late G. Raymond Chang, Shaun Chen, Fan Wei, James Chu Wingnean and Wennie Lee.
Five outstanding students of Hakka desend were awarded with a scholarship.
Another important program of the Conference is the signing ceremony of the friendship city agreement between Markham and Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, China. Markham and Ganzhou signed a memorandum of friendship and cooperation as early as 2013 to carry out friendly relations between the two sides. As the next World Hakka Conference was to be held in Longnan, Ganzhou City, the two parties agreed to further their relationship.
Riding on the opportunity of the visit by Vice Mayor of Ganzhou to Markham to attend the World Hakka Conferece, the two cities signed the agreement to formally establish the friendship city relationship between the two parties. The agreement shall bring mutual benefits to both sides on economic development. The two cities will also promote the cooperatoin in sports, educational and cultural exchanges.
A very important part of the World Hakka Conference is the ceremony handing over the flag to the next host. Since Li Wenxin, the Vice Mayor of Ganzhou who was in charge of receiving the flag, and Zhong Xuhui, the chief commander of the preparatory office of the 32nd World Hakka Conference, needed to rush back to China, the flag handover ceremony was was held at the welcome dinner, one night earlier than the originally scheduled time during the Hakka Gala on the second night.
It was also during this Conference that the hosting right of the 33rd World Hakka Conference was granted to the City of Luoyang, Henan Province, China.