Written by Jessie Koh
Edited by Fajar binti Benjamin
DONG Dong Dong Chiang! The good old Lion Dance has always brought about joy to the crowds and it is also believed to bring prosperity to the premises visited. This time, the lions performed daring stunts on elevated poles, the amazing dancers within leaping with grace and balancing on each other’s shoulders to expertly showcase the fluidity and strength of the lion. The dance presented the perfect opportunity for students to pray for excellence in their studies.
This year, the Chinese Independent School Alumni (CISA) Club invited us to celebrate Chinese New Year by bringing us back to the 1970’s. The 1970’s Oriental Spring featured a wishing pavilion and an exhibition. A celebration was also held in Sunway University Campus Foyer over the 22nd and 23rd of January 2019. The celebration was not only catered to Chinese or Sunway students, instead, it was open for all. Students from neighbouring universities or nearby residents were welcome on campus to witness the spectacle.
The performances were streamed live on Facebook and can still be viewed there at https://www.facebook.com/SunwayUniversityCNY. The performances included a joint performance from 24 Seasons Drums and Sunway’s own pasukan kompang (Malay drum team). This performance is the perfect showcase of the beautiful mix of cultures that can occur in our beloved country.
Not only was there a Lion Dance (performed on high piles!), there was also a Dragon Dance performed by students from Chung Hwa Klang High School, an artful dialogue performed by talented Sunway students, Si Chuan Opera Face and even interactions with the well-known DJ’s of Goxuan, DJ Cathering and DJ Jacky. They weren’t the only celebrities around though, local producer and star Lim Tak-Rong along with other cast members were there to promote their upcoming movie, Earth.
The closing performance started with two CISA members clanging away as their mascot danced happily, soon to be joined by the entire CISA team as they showcased their enthusiasm and brought the cultural showcase to a close with high spirits. That’s not to say the celebration ended there though.
For those who were having class, the exhibition with various booths were available to look and play around with for the entire two days.
Around the foyer, one could choose to try writing calligraphy, creating a blow painting, tie a Chinese knot, or even taste Chinese tea and learn about the art of it. There were also four game booths with a leaderboard displaying the names of top scorers in each game.
A 70’s mini market was created for people to take photos with. CISA members dressed the part of shopkeepers stood there for added authenticity.
Of course, no festival is complete without some snacks. Sweets and crackers were sold, in case anyone wanted to stock up on crunchy supplies.
1970’s Oriental Spring was a booming success, gaining coverage from national news outlets such as The Sun and showcasing Chinese culture in innovative and exhilarating performances.
Celebration of a cultural events together regardless of ethnicity and cultural background not only spreads the festive joy, but also educates others on the meaning behind the festivals.