The Dancing Lion

Many winters ago, I was having lunch when my English friend joined me.  I went to Chinatown last weekend and saw the lion dance, he said,  they’re celebrating Chinese new year.  Did you like it, I asked.  Yes, he said, that was the first time I saw the lion dance… fascinating!

I smiled and thought, Oooohhh.. I miss the lion dance.  I hadn’t been home for two years.

When I was growing up, we had two Chinese neighbours.  One of them had a few ducks in the backyard and I sometimes fed them.  The kindly grandmother would smile and nod her head when she saw me doing so.  She didn’t speak any Malay, so we were limited to non-verbal communications.

On Eid, my mother would send them some cookies, ketupat and rendang.  On Chinese New Year, they would send us some cakes and cookies.  My favourites were (still are) the kuih bakul and kuih sepit.  The highlight of the Chinese New Year (for me) was the lion dance.

When I heard the beating of the drums, I would rush outside and watch the lion dancing in front my my neighbour’s house.  I stood there  transfixed.  Fascinated.  To this day, the lion dance fascinates me.

Gong Xi Fa Cai.

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