DiGi's Lion Dance Students Put on Amazing Performance
50 participants of The Lion Dancer of Johor project show off their newfound skills
Muar, December 10, 2005 : About 50 lower secondary students awed an audience that included Tuan Haji Md Jaapar b. Haji Awang, the Yang Di-Pertua Majlis Perbandaran Muar, with an impressive lion dance, followed by a theatrical performance of Malaysian-grown style of drumming known as 24 Drums.
The students were participants of DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd's The Lion Dancer of Johor project. Launched on July 31, 2005, this project brought together students from SM Tinggi Muar, SM Tengku Mahkota, SMK Raja Muda, SM Sri Muar and SMK Kampung Melayu Subang with "the lion dance sifu in the world" - Siow Ho Phiew - under whom they have been training till today.
In the four months that they have been involved in the project, these youth have picked up amazing skills they never knew they possessed. "When we launched this project, we knew it would be a hit with the students because the art of lion dance is spectacular in itself. But we didn't imagine the students would get so good at it that they've been asked to perform at functions!" said Chee Pok Jin, DiGi's Chief Marketing Officer, whose division led this particular DiGi's Amazing Malaysians project.
The students from Muar have been asked to perform at a corporate event and at a Kualiti Day celebration, organised by the Ministry of Education.
Muar is home to the Kun Seng Keng group, which has won the World Lion Dance Championships no less than 15 times. The team is coached by none other than DiGi's Amazing Malaysian, sifu Siow. The Kun Seng Keng helped to train the participating students. Meanwhile, Eric Ch'ng from the Percussion Hands Group was responsible for getting the students to performance level in the 24 Drums.
At the Showcase (the official closing ceremony) of The Lion Dancer of Johor, the students who were organised into four groups, also took part in friendly lion dance and drumming competitions. They were judged by Siow, Chee, Ch'ng and Tan Chong Sing, who also coaches the Kun Seng Keng.
"We're hoping that the students have been sufficiently inspired by the whole experience to continue to practise lion dance and drumming. We're donating the traditional Chinese drums to the participating schools, so that even more children can be introduced to this traditional art form. I understand that the schools may even consider setting up lion dance clubs," said Chee.
The idea of children from different ethnic groups discovering together the richness of Malaysia's cultural heritage is what DiGi's CEO Morten Lundal refers to as a bridge. "In various ways, we can all see ourselves as a bridge between the past and the future. DiGi's Amazing Malaysians CSR programme aims to bridge not just the digital divide, but the cultural and social ones as well," he said.
DiGi is a leading mobile communications company providing a comprehensive range of affordable, convenient and easy-to-use wireless services to simplify and enrich the lives of its customers. The company creates value by selecting the most appropriate cutting-edge technology so that customers benefit from products and services that give them choice, convenience and control.
About DiGi's Amazing Malaysians
DiGi's Amazing Malaysians is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme which identifies passionate individuals who, quietly but with dedication, work towards preserving Malaysia's natural, social, art, cultural or built-up heritage heritage. DiGi provides resources for these ordinary people doing extraordinary things to share their knowledge and skills with groups of 50-100 children or youth. Most of the projects are centred in rural locations, and the children involved come from the surrounding areas. This way, DiGi is able both to support commendable heritage work, and to introduce children to the rich tapestry of culture and tradition that makes up Malaysia's unique heritage.
For more information on DiGi's Amazing Malaysians, visit http://www.digi.com.my/aboutdigi/community/cm_about.do