The lion dance is well-known in Malaysia for being a famous tradition in the Chinese community and other Asian countries in which performers mimic a lion’s movements in a lion costume to bring good luck and fortune for the new year. While most of the performers are Chinese, since Malaysia is such a diverse and multicultural country, we have people of other ethnicities interested in this dance too!
In fact, these three young Malay friends have been in a lion dance troupe for five years and are now training hard since Chinese New Year is just around the corner, The Star reported. The trio is comprised of Mohd Fitri Abdullah, Mohd Al Amirul Akmal and Mohd Syafiq Abdullah and they have been interested in the art of the lion dance ever since they were young.
“We’ve always enjoyed watching lion dance performances since our childhood, so when the opportunity came we all joined the troupe together. What we like most is the music because without it there will be no lion dance,” 21-year-old Mohd Fitri said.
The three friends are members of one of the oldest lion dance troupes in Kuching, known as the Kuching Kwong Wai Siew Association troupe that has been in existence since 1954. 20-year-old Mohd Syafiq said that it was rather difficult for him to learn the lion dance in the beginning, especially the acrobatic moves.
Meanwhile, Amirul says that to be a good lion dance performer, one must always be diligent and hardworking during training. “It takes hard work and stamina to be a lion dance performer. We usually train twice a week, but when Chinese New Year or important performances are coming up, we train every night,” he explains.
The troupe is like a family and they also have members from other ethnicities as well. “We’re like family. At meal times, they will prepare halal food for us but we all sit together at the same table. There is mutual understanding among all of us,” said Amirul. That’s how it should be!
Meanwhile, the president of the Association, Lim Chong Lee warmly welcomes anyone who wants to join the troupe. “In the past, our members were mainly from the Chinese community but these days, we have members of other races. This is a good practice. Here in Sarawak, we can see people sitting together with other races, exchanging views on our cultures and celebrating together,” he added.
That’s what we call multicultural harmony, guys! From all of us at WORLD OF BUZZ, we want to wish our readers a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year!
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