Medini, Iskandar Malaysia, 19 February 2016 – Zhuoyuan Iskandar (Zhuoyuan) and the Thoong Nyien Hakka Association Johor Bahru (Hakka JB) today announced a community partnership that will showcase the unique Qilin dance to reach out directly to Johoreans during the upcoming Chingay Johor Bahru (Chingay JB) to be held from 27 to 29 February 2016.
The “groundbreaking” partnership signifies Zhuoyuan’s intention to become a prominent player in shaping the community in Iskandar Malaysia. Zhouyuan’s investment into Medini, is a clear affirmation of the company’s confidence in its growth potential and Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MIM) as its investment partner, to take on opportunities in Southeast Asia. By working with Hakka JB, Zhuoyuan can now reach out to the community through meaningful participation in local-level initiatives that share common social and corporate objectives.
Chingay JB has over 140-year history and is held annually on the 20th to the 22nd day of the First Month of the Lunar New Year. Today, the yearly street parade is now a national festival celebrated by Chinese, Malays, Indians and foreigners alike. The highlight of this celebration is the evening parade of the 21st day when the deities are taken on their annual “tour” to bless the city with peace, prosperity and harmony.
The entire journey is about 10km which will take more than 7 hours to complete, will be accompanied by traditional lion dancers, dragon dancers, stilt-walkers, puppeteers, pugilistic troops, cultural dancers, colourful floats, big-headed dolls, giant flags and many other groups to entertain the town-folks. For the first time in Chingay JB’s history, Johoreans can also expect to see a world-class Qilin dance troupe, specially brought over from Hong Kong to entertain the crowd at one of the most highly anticipated street festivals in the city calendar.
The Qilin or Chinese unicorn is the most important of the four sacred animals (Qilin Ăă, Dragon ą, Phoenix 3, turtle Ć) in Chinese mythology. Like the dragon and phoenix, the Qilin has features of various animals and as it resembles the Western Unicorn, it is also known as the Chinese Unicorn. Apart from this linguistic influence, the Qilin has also had an influence on the cultural heritage of the Hakka people. The Qilin dance is similar to the more common lion dance, both of which are usually performed during the Lunar New Year.
Although the basic form and the ritual of the Qilin dance are similar to that of the lion, the pattern of steps, gestures, and music are quite distinct from its more famous counterpart. Even though the Qilin dance is relatively obscure, it is getting more popular today. Thus, the Qilin will probably become better known as more people come to know about it and its place in Chinese mythology.
According to Dato Steve Chong, President of Hakka JB said, “The Qilin is said to appear only during auspicious times or during periods of great peace and harmony, and we look forward to bring more festive cheers, as well as to create more cultural awareness to enhance the livability of the city. We are happy to welcome Zhuoyuan as our new Corporate Partner.
With this timely collaboration, we can attract more participants for future events, opening up opportunities to make friends and support social cohesion.” Zhuoyuan’s Vice President, Mr Lee Siow Woon said: “Zhuoyuan is part of the future of Medini and we strive to share our journey with Johoreans. Hakka JB is the one of the most active patriarch of the grassroots movement in Johor Bahru and through this partnership, we can become a more active corporate citizen of IM – a place where Johoreans live, work and have fun.”
Under this unique partnership, Zhuoyuan’s contribution among others include:
a) Chingay JB 2016 – Zhuoyuan is participating in Chingay JB for the first time, with 50 staff expected to join the entourage of Hakka Association in walking the entire route;
b) Cash sponsorship – Zhuoyuan is contributing a sum of RM 18,888 in cash, towards the Hakka Association Johor Bahru’s Chingay Committee;
c) Products-in-kind – A total of 8,000 hand fans will be distributed for free by the staff of Zhuoyuan to the visitors during the Chingay procession. A further 1,000 goodie bags will be distributed during the Chingay Appreciation Dinner.
Chingay JB marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration for the locals, but the beginning of Zhuoyuan’s renewed commitment to further engage the grassroots community, and to bring about a better lifestyle for the residents of Paradiso Nuova and people living within Medini.