The excitement surged through my body as I carried my first brand new lion head out of Clarion Music Center. I wasn’t the only one affected by these feelings; my Si Hing had also purchased a lion head on the same day, at the same time. We both walked out of the shop with pride.
Just the other day, I was digging through my old lion dance pictures to reminisce my past experiences in the art. Although the purchase was hasty, I do not regret buying my first lion. I’m sure my Si Hing feels the same way too. Speaking of my Si Hing, we had a pretty interesting history together. He was one year older than me, and went to the same elementary and middle school as me. Even then, I had no idea who he was until I joined my first kung fu class, where he was notoriously known as the mischievous Si Hing. We quickly became friends.
After several years of practicing together, we decided it was time to buy our own lion heads. Heck, we probably thought we were bad@$$ lion dancers at the time, but in reality, we sucked. It was literally a lion DANCE. No power, no stances, no nothing. Just two kids waving a paper mache mask around. We simply didn’t have the enthusiasm that real lion dancers had; we just wanted to enjoy ourselves.
The Hoi Gong ceremony for the two lion heads were done on the same day, during my Sifu’s annual birthday celebration performance. In addition, both lions were dotted by my Sifu. Automatically, we knew that these two lions would be lion brothers forever.
My Si Hing and his lion dance partner holding up his brand new lion.
Me and my lion dance partner holding up my brand new lion.
My Sifu going through the Hoi Gong ceremony with my lion.
My Si Hing doing the sleeping/waking up routine.
The lion brothers in their first performance.
Group picture featuring the lion brothers.
Circa 2004 – My Si Hing and me.