About Us   Jobs   Contact Us      


 
Google  

Games of Peasants, Games of Joy
    2008-10-25 15:22:25     Xinhua

Two months after China topped the medal tally in the 2008 Olympic Games, a more joy-oriented multi-sport Games will be held among the country's millions of peasants.

 

As the only regular sports gala for peasants in the world, the sixth edition of the Chinese National Peasants' Games will lift its curtain on Sunday.

 

Quanzhou, an old-line seaport in Fujian Province and known as the Eastern terminus of the Maritime Silk Road, will open its arms for about 3,500 countrymen athletes hailing from 32 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, including Taiwan. Hong Kong and Macao will also send delegations to observe the quadrennial peasants' get-together.

 

Unlike most athletic games that highlight the limits of physical strength and competitiveness, the National Games of Peasants emphasizes more on recreation and less on the results.

 

The First edition of the Games was held in 1988 in Beijing, in order to enrich off-hour life in rural areas and raise the level of peasants' health and sports techniques. Seven sports, namely basketball, table tennis, Chinese-style wrestling, athletics, cycling, shooting and football were included.

 

The Second Natioanl Peasants Games was held in Xiaogan, a city of Hubei Province in central part of China. Xiangqi (Chinese chess) and Taiji, also known as shadowboxing, were added into the Games, while football was omitted and shooting was replaced by militiaman triathlon (shooting, grenade throwing and 5-kilometer crosscountry racing). More than 2,200 athletes took part in the competition and the Games also provided huge business opportunities for the host city.

 

The organizers of the quadrennial tournament always try to remove redundant rivalship from the games and introduce more field-working adapted or entertaining sports to frustrate the attempts to hire professional athletes for medals. Traditional track events were changed into interesting races like tyre-pushing and food-carrying and field events were also modified, such as seedling hurling and tug-of-war.

 

Moreover, the organizers also sought to introduce Chinese traditional sports into the Games. As one of the most modern cities in China, Shanghai witnessed the debut of Dragon dance in the Third Peasants' Games. The age-old performance, which is believed to bring luck and prosperity, not only became focus of Chinese media but also attracted curious eyes from abroad. Foreign media also sent batches of journalists to Shanghai to cover the Games in 1996.

 

In the fourth Games held in Mianyang in Sichuan Province, dragon boating, kite flying and shuttlecocks, which are all routinely played in the countryside, were added. And four years later, another popular sport angling also found its place in the fifth edition held in Yichun of Jiangxi Province.

 

The sixth edition in Quanzhou has also welcomed a new sport, which is Yangko dance. The Yangko dance is a traditional folk dance commonly performed in China's northern provinces. Yangko dancers usually wear bright and colourful costumes, and their movements are vigorous and quick.

 

In the countryside, Yangko teams are organized for big days such as traditional festivals, wedding celebrations or birthday parties. And in recent years, many elderly people in Northeast China have been engaged in Yangko for enjoyment as well as to keep fit all year round.

 

After two decades of development, the National Peasants' Games now includes 15 sports and over 180 events, and has turned into one of the major sports events in China.

 

As more and more Chinese peasants became well-off and paid more and more attention to their physical and mental health. Field work is no longer the sole occupation for them. With such enthusiasm keeping on, the Chinese peasants will spend more time and find more joy in sports.

 
Share

                  
Recommend


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. All rights reserved. Reproduction of text for non-commercial purposes only is permitted provided that both the source and author are acknowledged and a notifying email is sent to us.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

Also on our site
China | World
• Russian Natural Gas Supplies to Balkans Halted
• Three Israeli Soldiers Killed in Friendly Fire in Gaza
• Polanski's Lawyers Seek to Have Sex Case Dismissed
• Foreign Journalists still Not Allowed into Gaza
• US VP-elect Joe Biden to Visit Pakistan
• China Curbs Overseas Trips on Public Expense
Business | Sports | SciTech
• China Issues Long-awaited 3G Licenses
• Wahaha, Danone Start Trademark Arbitration
• GM Reports 31 Percent Sales Decline in U.S. Market
• Call for More Overseas Talents
• Bulgarian Figure Skating Champion Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison
• China's Mission to Mars Set for Take-off
Life | Showbiz
• A Seemingly Endless Scandal
• Asian Art Top Show Kicks off in Beijing
• Behind-the-Scene Photos of "Look for a Star"
• Universal Pictures Movies Set New B.O. Record in 2008
• Tan Dun's Deep Pool of talent
• Top 10 Shows in 2008 
Webcast  
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-07
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-06
• China Drive, Morning, 2009-01-06
• Official Property Declaration System
• India handed over evidence of Mumbai attacks to Pakistan
• EU delegation holds talks to push for a cease-fire in Gaza
• Mubarak Meets with EU Troika on Gaza Situation
• Bush says any Gaza ceasefire must stop Hamas rocket fire
 
View the Messages