1P100W #3 – Lion Dance

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This was taken at home during Chinese New Year two years ago. It is customary for businesses and sometimes homes to invite a lion dance troupe to come and make a whole lot of noise. There’s probably a very deep cultural meaning behind the lion dance, but heck, all we care about is starting the year with a BANG!

I trained on lion dancing for a year or two when I was practicing kungfu as a kid, but I never made the “main team”. It feels weird seeing mostly Indians in lion dance troupes nowadays. I mean, this is supposed to be a Chinese cultural thing, right?

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30 Comments

  1. What an eye opener to see the Indian boys in the lion Dancing troupe! The same goes with them seeing Chinese carrying their kavadis. I love the idea of mutual respects for all cultures in our country.
    Few years ago, I recall getting shocks to see the Bangla waiters wearing red Chinese Mandarin uniforms to serve at the Chinese Restaurant @ Nikko Hotel.

    • I’m sure you won’t be shocked with that sight anymore nowadays. Our F&B services have more or less been taken over by Banglas, haven’t it?

  2. The lion dance is becoming more and more difficult to see in mainland China 🙁 During all my years here I only saw it once, in a wedding! But the other day, right after coming back from holidays, there was an amazing lion dance in my office building! It was awesome! (and very loud!). The troupe was from Hong Kong, and the building owners are also from HK. I don’t think a mainland management would have done it, and it is a pity that many traditions are being lost on the mainland!

    • I think maybe you’re at the wrong part of the mainland. If I’m not mistaken, the lion dance is more of a southern China thing, mainly the Cantonese. I’m not sure about the dragon dance, maybe that one is the more northern ones!

      • In fact I don’t even know what the difference is between the lion dance and the dragon dance? Are they two different things? When I’ve seen it I never knew if the “monster” was a lion or a dragon, it definitely is a weird looking thing 😀

        • Well, my picture is that of a lion. That’s lion dance. There would be two persons inside the lion all covered up, one helming the head and one at the tail, that would make four legs. The dragon though, is a very long one. There would be more people, and they don’t hide inside the dragon, but the dragon will be propped up with poles and people control the dragon using the poles.
          Dragon dance

    • It was mandatory training lah. Just because I practiced doesn’t mean I’m good. I also learned guitar and drawing before, and I sucks at both! 😀

  3. Last time, lion dance performance was also invited to our house, but these recent years, I couldn’t find any of this performance at my area anymore. May be in future years, lion dance will be performed by banglasian.

    • At least the one in the picture, the front lion is still a Chinese guy. I guess for the main lion part, still need a more practiced hand to perform. Hopefully our lion dance won’t go the route of hawker food if you know what I mean.

    • I think you can only see this during CNY, especially on the first 2 days. Apparently some of the troupes have a hard time getting their Chinese members to work during CNY, so they resort to getting “outside” help.

  4. The shops near my office also engage the lion dance troupe to come make some noise. But I can only hear them and not watch as they perform during office hours. No lion dance at your house this year?

    • Nope. We won’t normally go out of our way to engage them. This one was just because they were conveniently around.

  5. Like you, I don’t bother the meaning behind lion dance.. All I know is people need them to bring ong into the house or business, good luck or something, make a big noise so that everyone knows and then come over to watch.. I know it’s all about wealth and good luck la..

    • Spot on! I think the older generation are very pissed off with us bunch for not caring more about the meaning of our culture. 😛

  6. Ah, the lion dance! I love watching them perform their moves, especially when the lion soars in the air [the dancer stands on the other dancer’s shoulders.] I got some good videos of a dragon dance this year [and I even got to direct the dragon by using the ball because I just asked if I could. Something I always wanted to do.]

    • Good for you! I think it symbolizes something good if the person gets to direct the dragon, like, direct good fortune into your path! 😀

  7. Mun mentioned seeing a lion dance in some blog – she must have been here! LOL!!! Funny thing, I did not get to see a single one this year! I guess the regular ones – somebody died in one family…and the other was away, probably an elderly member very sick, not in Sibu…leaving just one. Maybe the lions came when we were out.

    • Nah, there’s like a million different lion dance troupes going all over the Klang Valley (okay, I exaggerated). One does not need to come to my house to see one! 😀

      You know I hardly see one this year, too! I think I only saw one from afar when I was in the mall. Strange that the CNY mood was soaring pre-CNY, but the actual days felt kind of quiet over here.

  8. Now when I see 1p100w, “1 person 100 Watt” comes to mind meaning 1 person can use only 100 Watt of electricity.

    The company I work for also hire a lion dance troupe to prance around the office and all of them are same colour as you so it is not true what you say about that colour more than this colour now in lion dance troupes. Someone must have called the wrong number and hire the lion dance troupe from that colour association. You know colour must know different colour culture so your colour types also got carry kavadi so a different colour association also can learn to perform the lion dance to foster deeper understanding of the colours colours colourful culture mah.

    Wah, you are really a guy of many talents. Got learn lion dance when young somemore. How memorable! When most young boys only pranced around at home with a toy lion head you get to work with the real lion big head.

    • Aiya, why so many colour type here, colour type there? I’m not trying to be racist or what lah, just stating a fact that I noticed using straightforward words. The troupe that came to our house, it was actually not hired by us, they were performing at one of the neighbour’s house and we just called them to come over for second round after that! 😀

      The lead is Chinese, he said CNY all their Chinese members don’t want to come out and perform, so they have to import some “outside” help to boost their ranks. What I mean is that it feels awkward when Chinese don’t want to carry on the traditions and require to hire some non-Chinese to do it. In the same sentiments that I would feel sad hearing Chinese say: “I don’t know how to speak Mandarin and I’m proud of it” when some of our non-Chinese counterparts can speak Mandarin fluently.

      Seriously though, I need to get out more. I don’t think I’ve seen a Chinese carrying kavadi before. That would be interesting! Although probably someone somewhere might have similar sentiments that I felt LOL!

      It sounds impressive when I said I trained with it a bit. The fact is, it was just part of the training when I was practicing kung fu. I was not good enough so I never made the cut. It’s not that impressive at all hahaha! 😀

    • There are techniques one, you support the guy on top with your legs instead of the back. But needs to be done right lah. 🙂

    • Really? I never set out to watch any for quite some time too, but there will always be a few that I will bump into in the malls or the roadside shops.

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