Lion dancing is an important tradition originating in China. There are many different origins for it, one legend telling the story of the Jade Emperor cutting off the lion’s head and sending it to Earth due to its mischief, but the Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin revived it by tying its head to its body with a ribbon, making it promise that it would frighten evil spirits and never eat meat.
Another story is the legend of the Nian, a monstrous beast that would come out during the New Year’s Eve and terrorize the villagers. But one day a lion showed up and scared it away. It came back again, but the villagers dressed up and pretended to be the lion, scaring it away.
The last story I know of is about the Emperor having a nightmare one night. In the dream, he was in danger but was saved by a mysterious creature. After describing it to his ministers, one of them told the Emperor it was a lion, an animal from the West. Since then, the lion became a symbol of good luck in China, scaring away evil spirits, with its horns as weapons and a mirror to frighten the demons.
There are different alterations to each of these stories, and I am sure there are a few completely different ones too, however this is as much as I know of.
More info regarding Lion Dancing
Hello everyone, this is Travis Hui your Cultural Coordinator for the year of 2017-2018! I want to start off this blog with Indonesia because it was the first request that I got in the suggestion box! I also want to say that every other week or so when I have a post here, there will be a quote, phrase or saying (QPS, pronounced QUIPS or KWIPS) of the week, along with a message or interpretation for it. If can find me and recite to me the quote and the message, I might give you something, BUT ONLY IF YOU’RE THE FIRST PERSON.
Indonesia used to be a Dutch colony, but back in World War 2, Japan had occupied it and ended the Dutch rule. Japan later surrendered and Indonesia was able to declare independence with the unity of the people. Due to the fact that it used to be a Dutch colony, there is a lot of European influence, such as the importance of Dutch Independence Day. They also implement the Dutch language within schools in Indonesia, and there are many Indonesians that live in the Netherlands.
In Indonesia, batik clothes are signs of elegance for both locals and foreigners. They use to be only handmade, but as industrialization came, high quality handmade batik clothing became more limited and expensive.
Indonesia has various traditional ceremonies filled with festivities and rituals that are connected to agricultural activities, from planting the seeds to harvesting them. One of them is Seren Taun, which is an annual tradition of the Sundanese, it is a rice harvest festival and ceremony. It was originally held to mark the new agricultural year in the Sundanese ancient calendar. It was their way to give thanks for the blessings of the abundant rice harvest and also a way to pray for a successful harvest the next year. Other ethnicities such as the Javanese might have held slametan ceremonies for starting the agricultural year in order to harvest. The Dayak people performed Hudoq dances during the thanksgiving harvest festival. Hudoq is a deity that symbolized pests, and in appeasing Hudoq, it was believed to deter pests from coming during the agricultural cycle.
QPS of the Week: “Originally there is no path in this world, but the first person to take the wrong path allows the path to come into being.”
So basically, it’s saying don’t be afraid to make the wrong step, go and experience and learn from it, and you and correct your path onto the right one. Don’t be afraid to take risks. I’m sure that’s how Indonesia was able to declare independence, and here they are today as their own world country.
Here is the slide for the Cultural Presentation of the week of September 10th, 2017:
Travis Hui - A second year Computer Engineering major who is our Cultural Coordinator for the 2017-2018 year.