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Former makeup enthusiast and bookworm. Currently adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Contact me at phylliciarobert@gmail.com for inquiries.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Tale Of Me And The Lion Dance

Hello all..
When I was a little girl I used to be petrified of lion dances. Iyo lah, dengan bunyik dorom besar dorang, the cymbals lagi. The beat was so loud my heart in my chest seemed to reverberate to the rhythm. Every time I heard the sound of the lion dance I would cry and pull my dad's hand in a bid to steer him in the opposite direction to get away.

I was about 6 or 7 years old when a group of lion dancers came to a clothing shop where I was in to perform. I wanted to run away but I couldn't because I was trapped somehow. There the 'lion' was, prancing and dancing while batting its eyes *which was actually cute but to the cowering me at that time, it was a terrifying sight* when it suddenly opened its mouth and I SAW A BOY'S FACE. My jaw literally dropped. I was puzzled enough to cautiously make my way closer to the dancing lion.

It's mouth opened again and I saw a flash of the boy's face once more. My eyes dropped to the lion's legs and I SAW SHOES. "What trickery is this?" I thought. Only then did it dawned on me that THERE WAS A PERSON INSIDE THAT LION! Which meant that that boy was the one controlling the 'lion' and it's not a 'lion' gone berserk to the loud banging and crashing of the drums and cymbals after all. Oh, to be fooled all those years! I felt like smacking the 'lion'. Macam la tu 'lion' sengaja tipu sy kan. Lol..

Since then, I no longer feared the 'lions' of lion dances and in fact I came to like them a lot. I appreciate a well-made 'lion' costume and love the bright color combinations. When there's a lion dance performance I would always stop to see them and I could watch a lion dance competition on CD for hours. I admire the skills, creativity, concentration and team spirit the dancers need to have in order to compete. Even just for performances, some 'lions' can be so cute in character *skipping about, tilting their head from side to side while blinking* and realistic that it's easy to forget that they are not really alive.


The cutesy Southern lion..

I don't like the Northern lion costume though. They look a bit too demented fierce for my taste.

The rabid fierce-looking Northern lions.

Okay, this is a random thought but I think it would be really cool to learn how to perform and take part in a lion dance. Not the acrobatic stunts God forbid, but just the simple prancing-about-blinking-and-looking-pretty type of performance on flat ground. That would be sooooo cooolll especially since I have never seen a girl perform before. Is it because girls are not allowed to do it? Paling kurang pun I would like to be a part of a well-performing lion dance team walaupun sekadar jadi tukang pungut angpow from the shopkeepers. Yang penting, be a part of it.

Were you ever afraid of lion dance performances when you were young? Or were you that little bugger who would wrestle out of your mother's grasp and run up to pat it *showoff*? Do you have a memorable experience with a prancing 'lion'? Share it!

Before I go, here and here as well are videos on lion dance performances for your enjoyment. Cheers my dears!

P/S: All photos are from Google.