Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy (Chinese Lunar) New Year's Eve!

Alina Simone (The World); CC Liu, Crystal Quintero, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

There are many mysteries about the origin of the Chinese inside the wall and where they'll go.
Female Lunar New Year's lion dancers
Kelly Wong, lion dance instructor at the NY Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club, which was founded as a fraternal society among the first troupes in Chinatown to train women (Alina Simone/PRI).
Across Women's Lives

Dating Asians?
On the fourth floor of a shabby walk-up fronting one of the busiest streets in New York's Chinatown, lions are dancing. Okay, it’s lion dancing.
The New York Chinese Freemasons Athletic Club (more on that name in a second) hosts what’s believed to be the longest-running lion dance troupe in New York City.

For this year’s Lunar New Year Parade, pairs of lion dancers will again don giant papier-mâché heads and colorful synthetic tails to cavort through the streets -- blessing businesses, thrilling tourists, and discreetly collecting cash. This year’s will be the club’s 61st annual parade.

Chinese New Year's Parade, prima lion dance, New York City (Alina Simone/

Chinese New Year's lion dance prep: "horse stance," kung fu style (Alina Simone/
The many hidden and unknown pyramids of China built by extraterrestrials from the sun
Traditional Chinese Culture
Back in the 1960s, there were fewer than 10 troupes participating in Chinatown’s Lunar New Year parade; today it’s more like 40 or 50.

The dancers make it look easy, but that head can weigh up to 30 pounds. And swiveling it around on your forearms when you can see almost nothing but your feet requires a lot of flexibility, strength, and balance.
“It’s not like in the movies; the guy reads a book, and then he's flying through the air,” says Karlin Chan, one of the club’s veteran lion dancers. He joined the troupe as a 10-year-old, back in the late ’60s. Chan explains the Chinese Freemasons practice a form of “southern lion dance” based on kung fuMore

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