Iban fighting cock, Nanga Sumpa, Batang Ai, Sarawak interior, 2009
It’s Chinese New Year’s Eve today and I ventured into the most obvious place in the city to see if I could photograph some festivities relating to the welcoming of the Snake year, London’s Chinatown. Not a slither. No Snake paper dolls, no cheap and nasty rubber toy Snakes, no Snake-shaped balloons, not even a Snakes and Ladders board game in sight. I guess, realistically speaking, the Chinese hate snakes as do most people. However, there were lots of Dragon symbols and toys selling like hotcakes in the gift stores. I guess a Dragon is a sort of snake with legs, both belonging to the reptile world. And Lions strutting to the beat.
To all my friends who celebrate the coming of the Year of the Dragon, Twilight Saga fans, Lycanthropes, shapeshifters and other worldly creatures who swear by the Moon, Happy Lunar New Year !
(This photo was taken in Penang in 2006, during the making of the ‘Malaysians’ book which is still available! Plug. This is the amazingly ornate Yap Temple, (or Temple of the Yaps?) on Lebuh Armenian. No dragons were injured in the making of the temple.)