Malaysia is truly the country where we unite despite our religion, race and background. Over the years, we have gone above and beyond to show our unity by celebrating all kind of holidays together.
This Chinese New Year, we bring you these young lion dancers – who consist of 7 Malay kids!
According to Harian Metro, these 7 kids received their training from Mr Chai Teck Tee, a coach from the Terengganu State Department for Culture and Arts. The lessons started in July 2019 and has since received a lot of attention from the local Chinese community and the troupe has even been invited for celebrations during Chinese New Year.
The members of the troupe are all students of Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Jerong, Marang, Terengganu. The headmistress, Mrs Salmah Abd Rahman, said the group was first established when Terengganu State Department for Culture and Arts invited students to join their cross-cultural program.
This troupe of dancers has carved their name in history as it is one of a kind for students in sekolah kebangsaan within Terengganu. The headmistress added that “what makes it more interesting is that we haven’t any Chinese students in our school, but we are able to showcase how our school fosters unity through promoting this culture.”
The 7 students consist of one 12-year-old student, Muhammad Syafiq Aiman Surin; four 11-year-old students, Muhamad Faiz Mamat, Muhamad Fahmi Mamat, Nur Aleesya Balqis Musa, and Siti Syaza Liyana Osman; and two 10-year-old students, Tun Ahmad Ashraf Dzulkarnain Tun Asnan, and Nur Faqihah Nuriesya Mohd Fairul Nizam.
One of the students, Siti Syaza, said she couldn’t describe how happy she is after they perform when the audiences were satisfied, especially after knowing it was performed by a group of Malay students.
The twins, Muhamad Faiz and Muhamad Fahmi, said they practice acrobatics and other difficult movements at home, especially the movements to make the lion look like it is standing and moving according to the drum beats.
They also added that when one member wasn’t present during the lesson period, the other members would spend extra time teaching them.
Their coach, Mr Chai, claimed that it was hard teaching them at first as performing lion dance is not a Malay cultural norm, so their movements were a bit stiff, but with constant discipline, passion and high-spirit, they managed to perform it well.
The students said they are aiming for national competitions with proper guidance from Mr Chai to coach and guide them through the performance. So far, SK Jerong and SJK Sin Chone remain the only primary schools in Terengganu that have their own lion dance troupe.
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