[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人]
When Tan Chai Puan and the late Tan Hooi Song founded the 24 Festive Drums in Johor Bahru in 1988, little did they realise that this spectacular art of drumming would grow into an international art form. Since its inception at Johor Baru’s Foon Yew High School, this unique art of drumming has spread nationwide and abroad, with more than 300 drum troops worldwide in countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States. The 24 Festive Drums will soon celebrate its 28th anniversary later this week (12 June, 2016), and was proud to be recognised as a national cultural heritage by the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry on 14 February 2009.
选址于惹兰依不拉欣老街（紧邻陈旭年老街），以节令鼓为题的节令鼓 Drums Cafe，便是由两位热爱节令鼓的新山鼓队创办人钟海量与李雪亮所构思而成的文化餐饮聚合点。老店前身为“同源社”，为新山客家公会旧址。踏入店内仍能感受店家竭力保留历史原貌，复古地砖与壁砖加以修复后重见天日，丝毫不逊往日风貌。整体色调极为统一和谐，犹如节令鼓的鼓阵脉搏，充满浓浓中华气息。大人眼前所见的节令鼓，颇有“顶天立地”之姿，为何如是说呢？看看头顶上的节令鼓灯与地板上的节令鼓桌，君不见击鼓身，却闻击鼓声啊！
楼高三层的Drums Cafe，除了一楼所见的咖啡馆外，二楼为鼓队会议室与厨房，三楼则为鼓队的练习室，经理士杰表示Drums Cafe未来将会陆续规划以廿四节令鼓的展示厅方向执行，请拭目以待哦！
By a stroke of luck and foresight of 2 drummer enthusiasts, the conserved three-storey shophouse (former clan house of the JB Hakka Association) along Jalan Ibrahim was chosen for its proximity to Jalan Tan Hiok Nee heritage district. The upper storeys housed a meeting room, a future event space and dedicated practice area for the drum troops, while the cafeteria occupies the ground level. Inspired by the 24 Festive Drums’ art of drumming, the drum theme is evident from its façade to the furniture, with many tables created from drum tops and drums suspended from the ceiling, resembling a Chinese dragon entering from the front and goes all the way to the back and forth, a majestic sight to behold. The natural scarring on the worn leather is proof of how far this unique art of drumming that was proudly born in JB, has come a long way.
This was the inspiration for the creation of a performance based on the 24 solar terms in the lunar calendar, traditionally marked by festivals, that has guided the lives of the ancient Chinese agricultural community for thousands of years. Each drum was painted with two bold Chinese characters that represent each of the 24 solar terms. The music and choreography were arranged to harmonize gracefully into a performing art that depicts the cycles of the 24 seasons in music, calligraphy and the rhythm of life.
On 12 June 1988, the 24 Festive Drums was officially recognized in a ceremony held at the Johor Old Chinese Temple, an auspicious event attended by the presidents of the Tiong-Hua Association JB, representatives from the 5 Chinese clans, as well as Dato Kuek Ho Yau and the calligraphy masters who wrote the Chinese characters on the drums.
One couldn’t possibly miss the center of attraction inside the Drums Cafe – a unique wall art created with a collection of over a thousand drumsticks, forming the Chinese character “Drum”. Every “artefact” was preserved in its original state so that visitors can view them up close and personal at its glorious best.
店内这幅由书法名家黄石庵於1988年(戊辰年)所提的墨宝真迹，“擂响擎天的鼓声，思我不息的薪传”正是节令鼓的文化精神所在。据士杰讲解，墨宝最珍贵之处便是 “傳” 字的右上角竟多了一“点”，原来当年80几岁高龄的黄老原意为想让这鼓声文化傳“多一点”！
1988 年某个早晨，前书艺协会会长朱自存先生 (原《南洋商报》总编辑) 陪我登门拜访当年80几岁高龄的老书法家黄石庵先生，请黄老为当年6月于柔佛古庙举行的廿四节令鼓题鼓仪式书写一对大联。
那是上午8点多，我还空着肚子，但黄老 「按例」倒了XO色酒迎客。斟酌辞句时，热烫的酒从喉头穿过胸膛直落丹田。摊开纸，黄老气定神閒，挥就了节令鼓的生命理念：上联 「擂响擎天的鼓声」、下联「思我不息的薪传」。我摀住酒气，恭敬地指着最后的「傳」字，问黄老为何傳字右上角多了一点。黄老仰头一口乾尽瓷杯裡的酒，说： 「中华文化呀！我们要傳多一点！」
A pair of Chinese calligraphy paintings hung on the wall, which can be translated as “drumming unity in diversity, for generations to come”, was written by Chinese calligraphy artist Huang Shi An, during the inauguration ceremony back in 1988. On closer inspection, the Chinese character “傳” appeared to have an additional dot which has left many observers clueless back then. To date, many sharp-eyed visitors would point out the apparent mistake which would appear as unbecoming from a calligraphy Grandmaster, only to realise that the additional stroke was purposefully included to symbolise, and to serve as a reminder for the local Chinese community effort to pass on this unique performing art for generations to come. What an ingenious masterstroke indeed!
在含奶泡的摩卡 (Hot,RM12; Cold, RM13) 热饮面上浮现的“鼓”字，要不是热饮，可真会“一鼓作气” 一饮而尽啊！
Enough of its rich history, time instead to savour the rich taste of its signature Mocha, featuring handcrafted latte art with the Chinese character “鼓” which means drum. Kudos to the barista for likening the overall presentation to the real McCoy, brilliant!
除了热饮外，Drums Cafe其实也提供冷饮、甜品、蛋糕、布丁与地方美食。 这杯以Elder Flower 英国接骨木花(RM9) 搭配Soda的特调饮料，就是Drums Cafe推荐的消暑圣品。接骨木花果成熟时，在英国与欧洲被视为夏天的结束，并被当地奉为“万能灵药”。
Drums Cafe also serves a wide variety of other warm and cold beverages, desserts and cakes for those craving for some delightful local snacks. Top of our list is this glass of sparkling elderflower, the ideal alcohol-free fizz which is crisp and refreshing, not too sweet and has a subtle taste which is not too overwhelming.
店家目前主打源自Sri Gombak “家乡“的安邦酿豆腐（可选汤或炸），每四件酿料搭配白饭或面，套餐价格为RM9.50, 若单点酿料则为每件RM2.50。在前身为“同源社”的空间里享用客家美食，还真有意思啊！
Surprise, surprise, surely the hometown Yong Tau Foo seems out of place in such a chic cafeteria setting? Fret not, this traditional Hakka comfort food is served for the regulars, as well as visitors to the former JB Hakka clan house, possibly as a means to reconnect and savour the same great taste back in the good old days.
除了传统客家酿豆腐外，在Drums Cafe也能享用吉胆岛(Pulau Ketam)的特有美食 – 辣椒饭！
Apart from the traditional Hakka delights, the Pulau Ketam Chilli Rice stood out as a must-try food which we shall order on our next visit.
Drums Cafe will officially open this coming Saturday (11 June), a day before the 28th anniversary celebration on Sunday (12 June), to mark the birth of a proud Johor Bahru tradition and a fitting tribute to commemorate a unique heritage that has been earning rave reviews and now actively promoted and practised worldwide.
May the drum beats never cease to flourish, and continue to touch the hearts of many near and far, for many more years to come…
节令鼓 Drums Cafe
Address: 39, Jalan Ibrahim, Johor Bahru.
Tel: +607- 220 0955
Business Hours: Mon – Fri 11am – 10pm / Sat – Sun 10am – 10pm
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