Friday, March 09, 2007

A Teacher Celebrated

Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition
- Jacques Barzun

This sentiment does not stem from the fact that I am now part of the teaching profession. While many factors form the equation for the lack of regard for teachers and the teaching profession, I was very much enlightened on the subject matter after attending our choreographer, Kit Yaw's, 50th birthday celebration on January 27th.

Kit Yaw is one of the most celebrated choreographer/dancer in Malaysia, having garnered multiple recognitions and awards for his contributions to the world of dance in our country. In just three short months of working with him last year, I realized that he is known to most just as lao shi (Chinese for 'teacher') and has gained the utmost respect from his students and the people he's worked with.

A group of us were invited to his 50th birthday bash, held at Precious Old China (Nonya Restaurant with very tasty food) in Central Market. It was NOT just a birthday party. It was an event. An event that left a very warm feeling in our hearts. Though there were more people than the place could hold, somehow the whole thing felt personal. And then it hit me. Everyone was there to celebrate Kit Yaw. How often do you go to a party and really felt like you were there to celebrate someone?

What really touched us was the presence of his students - not only did they add energy and colour to the whole evening, but their specially choreographed dance pieces and skits for him meant more than any lavish present Kit Yaw could have gotten. And with all that effort and love put in, one can only guess how much he has influenced the lives of his students.

all smiles...always

the restaurant decor and ambience was perfect

Kit Yaw's students from Akademi Seni Kebangsaan (National Arts Academy)