The sounds of traditional drums and cymbals could be heard beyond the Bhakti Luhur Catholic Orphanage in Malang, East Java, on Sunday. Afterward, hundreds of children with disabilities, teenagers and seniors who live in the institution took turn to take selfies with barongsai (lion dance) dancers.
The lion dance was held to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year and entertain around 800 people who live in the orphanage.
Robert, a member of the Peduli Kasih community, said the event was planned just two days before Sunday.
“The community was founded for people of Chinese descent who were born in Malang. Members who now live in Bandung, Surabaya, Denpasar, Singapore and Hong Kong chipped in for the dance,” he told The Jakarta Post.
The event also saw 3,000 items of Chinese food, such as bakpao (steamed buns), cakwe (fried dough) and angsle (sweet dessert), distributed to the orphanage residents.
“The barongsai dance was the first entertainment in the orphanage since 2017,” said Agnesia Ayu, one of the caregivers. “Some children were frightened when they saw the dragon mask of the dancers, as it was their first time. But in the end, they were all entertained and came out smiling.”
Robert added that the dance was supposed to last 30 minutes, but was shortened to 15 minutes because of rain.
“The food was provided by sellers who happened to be Muslim and who are familiar to us. They could be seen as a symbol of harmony for us Indonesians,” he said.