What are the odds that I get to see lion dance performances twice in a row.
Yesterday after lunch, we saw a performance at the new mall at Changi Business Park. Today, I was lucky enough to choose to go to the bank at about 12.30 pm, and after I was done, decided to walk over to Compasspoint Mall’s atrium. It was written on the board that the performance would be at 12:30 pm so I thought I had missed it. But there was a crowd gathered around the ‘stage’ where pilars that the lions would be climbing on had been laid out. Sure enough, an announcement was broadcast shortly that the lion dance performance was starting, and the deafening drums began to sound.
Although from the same lion dance troupe, though not necessarily the same people, the routines performed today were simpler than the one we saw yesterday, which involved much swifter and complex moves. As if to make up for it, we had a pair of lions today instead of a lonely cat like yesterday.
Traditionally, members of the troupe are very young boys (and girls) from dialect clans (like Hokkien Huay Kuan), and even before that, they were from Chinese secret societies. As Singapore and Malaysia modernize, and parents prevent their children from joining these clans or participating in activities that pose bodily harm to the kids, will lion dance performances eventually disappear from Chinese New Year celebrations? I hope not! If my kids want to, I’ll say yes. This is good workout and who know cuts and bruises are part of growing up, aren’t they.