Despite this, the enthusiasm of the Chinese community was evident, Adi recounted.
“In the beginning, it was easy to get people to join. People’s enthusiasm was high. There were many Chinese dancers in my group. One by one, (the Chinese members) quit because they got married and had jobs,” Adi, who goes by one name, said.
“It is hard now (to convince people to join). In my group, every year we don’t have that many new players,” Adi continued, adding that almost all of these new recruits are non-Chinese.
Guntur Santoso, one of the co-founders of the Red and White Dragon Troupe estimated that 80 to 90 per cent of lion and dragon dance troupe members in Indonesia are not of Chinese descent.
“The Chinese are busy working or going to school. Thus, their opportunity to practice and perform is limited,” he told CNA.
But Santoso argued that this fact is not necessarily bad for the art form. For it means that the people who remain in the field are those who show greater commitment to ensure its success.
“We have lion dance performers who compete in international events and win. This can only happen if there are people who are committed to practicing, not people who are busy working, studying and see this as a pastime,” he said.