On the second day of Chinese New Year, I joined my 2nd sis’ family outing for their annual Lion Dance-watching. They are cultural-freak .. anything for them and the kids to hold onto our cultural roots. As they have been doing this for a decade, I was in their good hand.
They chose nothing but the best – the famous Kwong Ngai Acrobatic Lion Dance 光藝醒獅體育會. This troupe is the Overall Champion of the 2016 National Dragon and Lion Dance Championship. They only have 2 performances at 1 Utama Shopping Centre: Jan 29 (3pm) and Feb 1 (3pm). Besides Kwong Ngai, the other lion dance troupes include Kun Seng Keng Acrobatic Lion Dance 关圣宫 on Jan 14 (8pm), Jan 22 (8pm), Jan 30 (3pm), Khuan Loke Acrobatic Lion Dance 體育會 on Jan 28 (5pm) and Khuan Loke Traditional Lion Dance on Jan 29 (5pm), Jan 30 (5pm), Feb 1 (5pm).
As experienced spectator of the Lion Dance performance, sis and her friend were already waiting by the barricade before 2.30pm, a good 30 minutes before the scheduled performance. The things a mom would do for the kids …. As it gets closer to the show, more people turn up. We were unwilling to budge from our spot, but did give way to some kids. But some kids simply cut in without asking, and those, we were more unforgiving. Tsk.
Towards the end of the performance, crowds were jostling to get closer. Luck, all for good luck for the year ahead. People tried to move closer to touch the lion, to feed ang pows and to get their hands on the mandarin oranges from the Lion Dancers, symbolizing luck .. and I did move to the back for them. Or more like, I had to move as some were a tad too aggressive to my liking.
When I was still working, a visit by a Lion Dance troupe happens every year. There were usually more than one performance, and these were paid by media owners. So much so, that I’ve taken Lion Dance for granted. Seeing so many people jostling for a spot, to receive luck from the Lion Dancers … reminds me not to take things for granted.