No lion dances this CNY? Well, this Malay boy is not going to stop practising his lion dance routine

Sayuti Zainudin
·2-min read
Mohd Fakhri Ruzaini with his lion head at home in Flat Medan Tengku, Jelutong February 11, 2021. — Pictures by Sayuti Zainudin
Mohd Fakhri Ruzaini with his lion head at home in Flat Medan Tengku, Jelutong February 11, 2021. — Pictures by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 12 — The first time Mohd Fakhri Ruzaini saw a lion dance performance, he fell head over heels in love with it. He was just two years old.

Four years later, Fakhri who is now a Standard Six student at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) Jelutong, joined a lion dance group.

Chinese New Year is the busiest time of the year for the Xuan Gang Centre of Lion and Dragon Dance and Culture in Batu Lanchang as there would be many bookings for lion dances.

Like the many businesses that have been affected by the implementation of the second nationwide movement control order (MCO), lion dance associations have been hard hit.

With no bookings, training sessions have also been halted but that has not stopped Fakhri.

Mohd Fakhri Ruzaini practices his lion dance moves at home in Flat Medan Tengku, Jelutong February 11, 2021.
Mohd Fakhri Ruzaini practices his lion dance moves at home in Flat Medan Tengku, Jelutong February 11, 2021.

Throughout the current MCO, this little lion dance performer has been practising as usual using the furniture at home as props so he won't forget any of the steps he learned.

“I'm sad that I cannot practise with my friends and it feels a little funny to be doing the steps at home but I don't want to forget,” said Fakhri.

He would use a small lion head to practise with and arrange the chairs to resemble the poles used in lion dances, climbing them carefully.

Sometimes he would get his sister and mother to help out in the “performance.”

Fakhri’s ‘sifu’ said he is one of the youngest students in the group but is very disciplined and dedicated in his training.
Fakhri’s ‘sifu’ said he is one of the youngest students in the group but is very disciplined and dedicated in his training.

According to his mother Noraini Wazir, Fakhri used to be so excited whenever he saw a truck go by carrying members of a lion dance group. He'd want his father to chase after the truck.

“Our youngest son is showing us how our country can be a place where all races can share their similarities and differences together,” she added.

Fakhri’s “sifu” Lim Kai Poh, 32 said he was one of the youngest students in the group but is very disciplined and dedicated in his training.

When he found out Fakhri has been practising at home, he was not at all surprised.

Lim thinks Fakhri has a bright future in the group and hopes he will go professional one day.

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