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How an ethnic Chinese teacher piqued Indian students’ interest in lion dance and keeps it roaring

It was the evening of the second day of Lunar New Year, and at the only Chinese school in Kolkata, the sound of drumming filled the air. Soon, the heady beat was joined by crashing cymbals and a gong, as costumed performers leapt from pole to pole in a traditional Chinese lion dance.

Onlookers whooped and cheered as they watched the colourful spectacle, but after the 20-minute show at the Pei Mei Chinese high school was over, the man behind it all did not look entirely satisfied.

“We made some mistakes. We would have lost points if this was a competition,” said James Liao, the show’s director.


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