The Johor Chingay parade has been an annual tradition for Johorians. Today, in Malaysia, Chingay is not only attended by the Chinese, but the art has successfully attracted the Malays and Indians. It has become a unique multiracial event.
◎ 6SENSE / 黄静仪 Wong Cheng Yee
Breaking news has affected Chingay Johor, the spreading of Novel Coronavirus. The disease caused by the novel coronavirus has a name: Covid-19. Due to 11/2/2020, Covid-19 has been confirmed in more than 42,000 people and caused more than 1,000 deaths in China. There have been fewer than 400 cases in 24 other countries, with one death. Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed outside China, including in Malaysia.
Unsurprisingly, as the report of Feb 11, 2020, the state’s Johor Baru Chingay Parade will be canceled due to the novel coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak. The organizers of the 2020 Chingay Parade Festival here on Friday have called off the event after receiving advice from the Johor Government. Johor Bahru Tiong Hua Federation (JBTHF) said it had agreed to cancel the parade after considering the views of its affiliates as well as due to public interest.
The good news here is the iconic parade will be processed as scheduled date, Chingay on Feb 13 and 15 would continue, the five deities representing Johor Bahru’s five Chinese clan associations — the Teochew, Hokkien, Hainan, Hakka, and Cantonese — will be paraded on trucks rather than devotees as before. But the organizers will need to provide the names and addresses of the participants involved in JKNJ as a precautionary measure.
Based on that, the deities will be paraded on lorries to minimize contact for the parade. In addition to that, those attending need to take extra precautions such as ensuring personal hygiene, wearing face masks and going for checks at medical sick bays if necessary. JBTHF said those who wish to go to the temple for the religious ceremony must ensure they are healthy, and if not, they may watch the ceremony live on the official social website.
According to the interview of one of the Chingay committees, he will still attend the Chingay Johor as he treats Chingay parade as his responsibility to make the Chingay parade successful. Chingay parade is for the gods’ pleasure regardless of the number of audiences.
On the other side, one of the attendees who attended the pre-event of Chingay parade with his son mentioned that Chingay is a cultural inheritance that must be passed down to the next generation. Therefore, it is meaningful to bring his son to attend the pre-event of the Chingay parade.
One special attendee had been interviewed, he is an Indian from Malacca, he attended the Chingay parade with a simple reason, to get to know the culture of other races. He expressed his opinion as Chingay should be held annually as this year is
Chingay is held on the 21st day of the Lunar New Year and has become a national heritage event in Johor, which has been celebrated for the past 150 years. This is an annual traditional event Johor. We should pass this traditional down to the next generation.