M’sian FB Posts Calls For Better Attitude Towards Lion Dancers During CNY
Visiting your relatives’ place to bai nian and having A reunion dinner with the fam are common things we do during Chinese New Year (CNY).
While some of us may take this for granted, they are, however, a luxury to lion dancers who perform during the Lunar New Year.
Spending their CNY travelling between houses to perform, they miss out on their own family’s festive celebrations and are often fatigued from work.
In a Facebook post, a Malaysian named Mr Tam Wintham highlighted the sacrifices they make every year to help other families usher in the new year with prosperity.
Lion dancers spend hours under the hot sun
Performing difficult stunts in a heavy costume is not an easy feat to begin with.
Not only do they get blisters from playing the drums, lion dancers also have to endure the heat and the persistent sore in their backs.
Behind the glamour of their performance, many of the performers are starved of sufficient rest, some even going 24 hours without sleep during the festive season.
Stuck at work, they are unable to spend their CNY with their loved ones.
The Facebook post emphasises how severely underrated they are, seeing the little recognition they get during the festive season.
Their efforts are often go unappreciated
Despite their back-breaking, lion dancers receive pretty poor treatment, according to Mr Tam.
In order to make it from one place to another on time, they often have to skip meals.
Yet when they are late to their clients’ places, they also have to tolerate incessant calls from their customers.
Furthermore, they are stereotyped to be gangsters who behave badly, despite the hours they put in to perfect their craft.
Perseverance for a cause
With years of history, lion dance is a unique tradition that Chinese people all over the world hold dear.
An ingrained part of the Chinese identity, it is now an essential part of festive celebrations.
Yet despite the tough conditions they have to deal with, at least some young people are willing to continue this practice and preserve the heritage behind it.
Perhaps we can show more support to lion dancers this CNY, persevering day after day to put up good performances for us.
Featured image adapted from Facebook.