BARONGSAI WONDER

The dragon waits patiently for the dance to begin.

The dragon waits patiently for the dance to begin.

While Kelvin G., a student of mine, finds it a humdrum affair I find it absolutely exciting. His blasé attitude comes from having watched the barongsai since he was born. “It is nothing new for me,” he says in an uninterested tone. Point taken, but it is like saying that putting up the Christmas tree is boring, which is another activity I look forward to.  The barongsai (lion) and liong (dragon) dance is one of the events that Global Prestasi School (GPS) holds to welcome the new Chinese zodiac sign. Classes are cancelled throughout the three units – elementary, junior, and senior high school – and numerous activities (i.e. lantern- making, fashion show, and dance performances) are held in each unit that culminates with the barongsai-liong at the main ground of GPS.

The Lion Dance gets underway to usher in prosperity in Global Prestasi School.

The Lion Dance gets underway to usher in prosperity in Global Prestasi School.

The beating of the drum gives the lions and dragon the rhythm to move in the spacious ground.

The beating of the drum gives the lions and dragon the rhythm to move in the spacious ground.

The blue lion waits for his cue to get the hong bao and Mandarin orange.

The blue lion waits for his cue to get the hong bao and Mandarin orange.

There is, unfortunately, always a hitch with the barongsai-liong because of the intermittent rain. December to middle of February is the rainy season in Indonesia. Sheets of rain morosely wrap the country in a curtain of mildew and gloom during the period, which peters out during February. But it is like playing hide-and-seek with the sun when you hold outdoor activities before the end of the rainy season.  Normally, everything is set up on the main ground, but everyone suddenly crams into the smaller lobby of the school when it rains. The Lion Dance troupe find themselves performing in a tight space packed with the entire school watching. The Year of the Horse proved more auspicious than last year’s dance because the sun was out.  Benches for the spectators were laid out in the main ground, a stage was constructed in front of the lobby, and the Lion Dance troupe had a very spacious area to sashay, dip, and get the hong bao and Mandarin orange strung on a branch.

A sea of red inundated GPS on the eighth day of the Lunar New Year. Amidst the crowd of young and old, the acrobatic crew swirled and jumped to the beat of the drum. I, as always, watched in quiet awe. The Horse has galloped into GPS bringing with it positive vibes, abundant energy, and strength for self-improvement.

The lions and dragon have arrived for Imlek, local term for Chinese New Year, bringing with them positive energy and prosperity.

The lions and dragon have arrived for Imlek, local term for Chinese New Year, bringing with them positive energy and prosperity.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Robin on February 13, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Liondrake and commented:
    Wonderful photograph of a dancing dragon!

    Reply

    • Posted by rgarcellano on February 13, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      Thanks for dropping by and reading.

      Reply

      • Posted by Robin on February 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

        No problem! I have a blog about lion dancing (liondrake.wordpress.com), so I’m always trying to keep up with new stories and articles. Your dragon photo is very beautiful. I like the unique perspective.

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