Bang Niew shrine wins drum competition

PHUKET: The Traditional Chinese Drum Competition, Lor Kor Tin, took place on Saturday, October 13 as part of the official opening of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.

One of the five drummer teams in action in this year’s competition at Hok Nguan Gong Shrine, next to Clock Tower Circle in Phuket Town.

Lor Kor pewter is a red Chinese drum passed down from generation to generation. The instrument is a symbol of “the power of the sovereign and the fate of the army in China”. Drums are brought out whenever there are ceremonies or festivities.

The Vegetarian Festival is one such event, requiring the insistent beating of drums and iron bells.

The winning team for this year’s event were members of the Lor Kor pewter Bang Niew Sanctuary Association.

Although the exact origin of the Chinese drum is still a matter of debate, ancient literature indicates that it is at least as old as the Shang Dynasty – 3,600 years ago – illustrations have been found on scale artifacts of turtle and animal bones from this period.

AirAsia Director for Phuket, Arun Lilapansithi, participated in the competition, who said he was “proud to see ancient Chinese percussion techniques passed down from generation to generation, allowing ancient Hokkien traditions to continue.”

Five teams competed this year, judged primarily on technique and performance against the winning team from Jui Tui Shrine last year who released a Lor Kor Tin Drum CD.

Chanchai Duangjit, director of TAT in Phuket, said Phuket News that the Lor Kor pewter The event was “a good start” for the vegetarian festival as it “gives tourists a glimpse into the origins of the Thai-Hokkien people living in Phuket”.

He also noted that so far this year the vegetarian festival has not been affected by torrential rains or flooding, as happened last year. As a result, the number of tourists watching the events is estimated to be 30 percent higher, a big boost for the tourism industry.

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Jennifer R. Strohm

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