This girl aptly sums up the beauty of our country and the true spirit of 1Malaysia.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mariam, a 21-year-old Malay girl who has been a member of a lion dance troupe for eight years now, and she sometimes receives one extra ang pao from viewers!
In the four-minute video, Mariam impressed all the viewers with her fluent Mandarin and she credited this to her decision of joining the lion dance troupe. “I get to communicate with them (in Mandarin) when I train here,” she said.
When asked about why she loves playing the drums so much, Mariam said she simply loves the sound of it.
“It’s very powerful and we look very cool when playing the drums, because we perform some ‘patterns’. Also, it makes me happy and allows me to release stress.”
Recalling the time when she first joined the family, Mariam said she was scared and nervous because she was worried that she might make some mistakes.
“My palms would sweat and sometimes my drum sticks would fly loose from my hands. I’ve been through all that. I’m still nervous even after eight years but I try to be as confident as possible.”
Although we often boast about our country being multicultural, it’s still a rare scene in Malaysia for a non-Chinese to be part of a lion dance troupe. Mariam said,
“I am half Malay and half Indian. Whenever we go out to perform in public, the Chinese would be shocked to see a girl in tudung playing the drums. After the performance, they’d come and praise me, and I feel proud to be a Malaysian.”
Mariam receives much love and support from her parents too, who are open-minded, but her friends and relatives reckoned that it is not right for a Muslim to join the lion dance troupe.
For her, lion dance is a sport she fell in love with.
“I love the team spirit. Everything from the drums, gongs, lion head, and tail must work in perfect harmony to produce an excellent performance. Our mindset is to deliver great performances and we have to give our best.”
“Hopefully I can still keep in touch with lion dance even after I get married and have my own family.”
Mariam is certainly a very inspiring Malaysian and she has made us proud! Check out the full interview in the video by Urban Tales below!
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