Exactly one hundred years ago, the first Chinese immigrants arrived in the Netherlands and settled among our dutch community.
To commemorate this, a Lion Dance performance with a crew of 100 Chinese lions will be performing at the Dam Square in Amsterdam on 9th July 2011. From the Dam Square, the lion dance ensemble will move in procession to the Nieuwmarkt Square. The “Dance of the Lion” will be the largest ever Chinese celebratory event to be held in Europe, according to the organiser – the Foundation 100 years Chinese in the Netherlands.
A New Beginning
Chairman Wah Kun Yeung of the Foundation 100 years Chinese in the Netherlands says: “In the Chinese community, the lion dance symbolizes both happiness and prosperity. The dance heralds in new periods such as the New Year, the opening of a new business or, in this case, another grand century of Chinese in the Netherlands. An earlier lion dance event was held by the Chinese in the Dam Square on the occasion of liberation in May 1945”.
“What makes lion dance in the Netherlands so special is that it is the result of hard work and co-operation between the Chinese and Dutch people working together to orchestrate and participate jointly in the dance performance. A lion dance and also our “Dance of the Lion” performance can only be achieved when dancers, musicians, volunteers and sponsors all work together. By joining our hands and with a good team spirit we dance towards the future along with the national symbol, the Dutch lion!” says Mr. Yeung.
The lion dance was introduced into the Netherlands by the first Chinese after their arrival in 1911. The dance requires power, agility, flexibility, endurance and a strong team spirit. These too are the similar characteristics of the Chinese who upon settling in the Netherlands had required, in order to build up a new life. As such, the “Dance of the Lion” is also a homage to the older generations who have smoothed out the path for the younger generations.