Monday February 18, 2013
Having a drumming good time at KL’s Chinatown
By LOSHANA K. SHAGAR
KUALA LUMPUR: Participating in events as a family is a must for jeweller Richard English, who believes family bonding is best fostered during festive times.
So when his wife got involved in the Drumming Up the Nation event in Chinatown here, he decided to join in the fun with his two daughters Sonja, 15, and Clara, 13.
“We thought it would be fun to try and play the drums, so we got here early to rehearse for an hour before the event,” said Richard, 47, as he played drums with his daughters during the event yesterday evening.
They were part of 200 volunteers who played traditional Chinese drums in unison during the spectacular cultural and music showcase, which was seen as a prelude to the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 campaign.
Sonja, who had never played the drum, said it was a fun experience.
“It wasn't difficult to learn, and I managed to get the hang of it in an hour,” she said as she drummed away.
Thousands thronged the location to witness the event, which was part of a Chinese New Year street party organised by the Malaysian Chapter of the Entrepreneur's Organisation.
They were treated to abseiling performances by the armed forces, lion and dragon dances, live stage performances, fireworks, and a theatrical production of Chinatown's history.
University student Nigel Edwin and his friend Liean Thain were also excited as they tried their hands at the drums for the first time.
“It was exhilarating, but drumming needs strength so I got slightly exhausted at some points during the rehearsal,” said Nigel, 19.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, who launched the event, said such celebrations were an opportunity for attendees to narrate stories from the heart.
“Against the backdrop of these pre-war shophouses here in Chinatown, let us reflect upon our forefathers who left their birth land in rickety boats to seek better livelihoods.
“As we celebrate Chinese New Year from a position of relative affluence and comfort, let our children understand that these were attained through sacrifices, perseverance and the universal belief of our forefathers that as a young nation, we need to work hard together,” she said.