Calling High-Pole Lion Dance fans in JB...


During my recent meet-up with Tan Chong Hing, founder of the award-winning Kun Seng Keng (KSK) Lion and Dragon Dance Association in Muar, I was invited to join them for an event planned in Johor Baru in June 2022.


High-Pole Lion Dance performance in a 
mall concourse enjoyed by the public;
Photo courtesy of the KSK Album

This was just what I was after because I was keen to witness a live performance of High-Pole Lion Dance. (I have only watched from television and videos!)


And when I learnt that the event would be held in nearby Plaza Sentosa, I did not hesitate to accept.


As time passed and we were already in the middle of May, I tried to find out more from my contact in KSK and wrote to their official Facebook page via Messenger.


In reply, I was directed to read their post on the event in Facebook and a newspaper report by Sin Chew, a Chinese publication.


A KSK souvenir magazine design
This experience reminded me (once again!) about the plight of Chinese people who do not read Chinese and how they often missed out on special events simply because the info or reports were only published in Chinese.


Over the years, I have been working closely with my bi-lingual friends in the Chinese community who would share with me, relevant info on Chinese events in English so that I could write in English for the benefit of the Chinese who do not read Chinese.


For this, I am ever grateful for the support and sympathy of my bi-lingual friends who are understanding because I am not conversant in Mandarin and need their help to patiently explain the Chinese cultural context and background info so that I may gain a better grasp before I wrote it in English.


In fact, I shared this important point in, Connecting People through My Johor Stories, my 2019 TEDx Talk where I also discussed how Chinese who do not read Chinese can learn more about Chinese culture and heritage from my stories that are published in English.


The KSK team performing to the
backdrop of Parliament Building

When I looked at the KSK Facebook post on the event planned for June, I read the digits and figured that these were the dates for the event. But that was not enough.


Aware that there was still time, I rushed to engage KSK in an exchange of emails where I confessed my weakness in Chinese and sought their help to provide the info in English so that I may share it with others/readers who do not read Chinese.


Knowing that the event would be held in nearby Plaza Sentosa, I hoped that the info I can share will interest fans of High-Pole Lion Dance here to avail themselves of this wonderful opportunity to witness a live performance – almost at their doorstep.


High-Pole Lion Dance enthusiasts are familiar with KSK, the award-winning team who have established a reputation as world-class champions of International and National High-Pole Lion Dance competitions, multiple times.


Tan, who founded the Kun Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association in Muar in 1988, made it his mission to organize Lion Dance competitions annually to actively promote the culture and heritage of lion dancing.


This National High-Pole Lion Dance Competition, organized by KSK every year and hosted in various venues nationwide, is supported by the Malaysia Dragon & Lion Dance Sports Association.


In recent years, the team from KSK Muar emerged as National champions for competitions in three consecutive years, held in Dataran Pahlawan, Melaka in 2017, in Muar in 2018 and in Kluang in 2019.


Due to the global pandemic, this annual competition was deferred for two years.


This year, the National Competition, dubbed the MingAnLi Competition after the title sponsor of the competition, will be held in Johor Baru on Saturday, June 4, in an exciting programme from 2pm, at the concourse of Plaza Sentosa in Taman Sentosa.


A leaping lion in action!

I learnt that MingAnLi is the name of a village in Teochew and was told that Mr Wu, the main sponsor this year who originated from MinAnLi in China, proposed the title, MingAnLi Cup, for this competition.


So come along to witness some 16 participating teams who will be pitting their skills to win trophies that are sponsored by Muar Lion Business.


Fans of Lion Dance can look forward to being wowed by participants that include teams from Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Johor and Sabah.


Meanwhile, get ready to enjoy the delightful sounds of dramatic drums and crashing cymbals at this exciting High-Pole Lion Dance Competition. See you there!

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