Sunday, November 19, 2006
Today is the 100th anniversary of a little island in the South China Sea's Vegetable Grower's Association.
Enter stage left: Association lion dancers and accompanying musicians banging and hooting and clattering through the streets from early this morning till just after 10pm.
Enter stage right: Lion dancers from the dozen or so different local kai fongs (neighbourhood committees) also banging and hooting and clattering through the streets from early this morning till just after 10pm.
Result? Lots of colour, movement, and several people midway through a phone chat asking me, "what's that noise in the background?"
That's not noise, it's just a lion dance passing by. And it looked like they were having a good time. No matter that there are no longer any commercial vegetable growers hereabouts. Nor, for that matter, pig breeders (there's an association for them, too).
Why let progress get in the way of tradition? The City of London still has its Worshipful Company of Candlemakers, of Cordwainers, and other long-gone trades, so a place like a little island in the South China Sea is just as entitled to retain and celebrate its own past associations (in the widest sense).
No doubt the lion dancers, musicians, associates, girl friends and whatnot ("we're with the group") are all now in several restaurants where they are heartily eating and drinking, all the better knowing that someone other -- one or more local worthy or unworthy -- is footing the bill.