Next generation of Gua Musang Chinese keep lion dance tradition alive

GUA MUSANG: In addition to continuing the lion dance legacy of their ancestors, the uniqueness of the Tokong Kwan Tai Meow Gua Musang Lion Dance Team members comprise individuals aged six to 30.

The team's senior activist Chong Won Soon, 26, said the younger Chinese generation in the district showed a deep interest in continuing the tradition of lion dances or wushu.

Chong, who has been active in the lion dance performance since 2019, said those who promote the dance not only need to learn various body movements but also need to play several main instruments in the performances.

"There are more than 10 lion dance movements that serve to differentiate the performance whether it is performed for the Chinese New Year celebration or other events.

"Lion dancers need to know all these moves according to the rhythm of the music being played.

"Where the music is concerned, we need to make as loud a sound as possible as a way to drive away 'bad things'. During the Chinese New Year, the lion dance together with the beating of drums, gongs, and cymbals is done to remove bad aura," he said when met by reporters at the Kwan Tai Meow Temple here today.

Elaborating further, Chong said during the festival according to the Chinese Lunar calendar, these dance performances will begin on the first day to the 15th day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

"So to maintain our stamina, we train three times a week from 7 to 10pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the festival," he said.

He said no fee is charged for each dance performed, the audience usually will give angpows after the performance as a sign of appreciation.

Meanwhile, Chore Yie Kian, 17, a Form Five student from Sekolah Menengah Tengku Indera Petra (SMKTIP) 1, said he was willing to spend time attending training sessions to improve his dance skills, playing the team's musical instruments every time before the performance.

"I learned this traditional Chinese art from young. I usually make sure that this activity does not interfere with my studies as training is only held in the evenings," he said.

Student Choo Hao Yuan, 17, from SMKTIP 2 thinks that young people, especially the Chinese, need to learn this performance art to preserve the legacy of their ancestors.

"Young people should be involved in this lion dance because we want it to keep 'alive'.

"This is the tradition and identity of the Chinese community which aims to 'sweep' out the bad elements and invite the 'ong' (good luck and fortune) in," he said. — BERNAMA

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories