As much as I love the Chinese New Celebrations, holidays, sales, open houses and deals, there are annoying aspects to it as well. As part of the CNY celebrations, I witnessed multiple lion dance performances on the HDB estates and other public areas. In general, residents accept the importance of this particular tradition for the Chinese community. But, this time around I couldn’t help but wonder if the celebrations went a bit overboard. Along with other shoppers, I had to suffer through the lion dance performance inside shopping malls like IMM(managed by CapitaMalls Asia) and Vivocity(managed by Mapletree Commercial Trust).
As the loud drum beats and celebrations continued in the enclosed areas, I looked around to understand the crowd response. There were a few curious kids and smart phone (camera) users whose attention was on the performance. Otherwise, for the majority of the people, irrespective of the race, it was plain inconvenience. The retailers who had not engaged the performers were having a tough time interacting with their customers. Meanwhile, a good number of customers were reaching for the exits.
I couldn’t help wondering if the management of these shopping malls had given considerable thought before approving such performance? Were any alternative solutions considered?
After thinking a bit about it, I could come up with two practical proposals for the next year’s round of blessings. Most convenient option is to organize the lion dance at the entrance of the shopping mall, in a common open space. Or if the retailers strictly believe in having their establishment blessed individually, the performance should be arranged outside the operating hours of the mall, so that it would not disturb the general public. Since such performances are planned ahead in schedule, a notice should be put up about the timings and interested people could come and watch the performance, while others could stay away.
I hope the managements would show more sense next time round !