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OSCA Lion Dance Team 2015

By Gordon Wong

Without exception, members of the Otago Southland Chinese Association carry out their activities with pride and great credit. However, the youngest of our members are working hard practicing every week and performing on our behalf at numerous events without us even being aware of it. The Otago Branch of the New Zealand Chinese Association has a distinguished history of performing lion dances since before World War 2. In the past the participants have been a mix of young and middle aged adults (and a few oldies) and kids in their teens to mid 20s. But a couple of years ago, Lisa Hanson (nee Ung) inadvertently started a revolutionby bringing in younger kids when Chinese New Year was in January and there were no students available. She was so successful at nurturing these kids that now the core of the team are primary school age, along with a few in intermediate and junior high school. They practice hard, perform very well thought out routines and absolutely love it as does every audience that gets to see them.

This year, they started by performing at the Summer Thieves Market followed by Chinese New Year in February and a big highlight for OSCA members was their combined performance with the Invercargill sub branch lion dance team at the Cultural Concert of the Annual NZ Chinese Association Easter Sports Tournament in Dunedin. More recently they performed at World Peace Day, Andersons Bay School Fair, August Moon (Mid Autumn) Festival at the Chinese Gardens and GoldenHarvest Restaurant and at Otago Girls High School.

By the time you read this article, they will also have performed at the South Dunedin Street Party on 31st October and the Oar Air awards on November 7th.

A massive thank you and bravo to Lisa and the Lion Dance team.