Embodiment of the beautiful Chinese countryside

BEIJING, September 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A China.org.cn report on a Chinese rural basketball event that has gone viral online:

This summer, a basketball event went viral online in China.

But you would be wrong if you thought the games featured famous international players. In fact, the matches were played between villagers of China South West Guizhou Province. The games were so popular that Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian and the Chinese Ambassador to the United States Gang Qin the two tweeted about it. Even the legend of Chinese basketball Yao Ming said he hoped to visit, but was worried he “wouldn’t be able to get a ticket”.

What show ! Isn’t the atmosphere as electric as a professional basketball game? Chinese netizens have given this rural basketball event a catchy name: the VBA, or “Village Basketball Association.”

VBA games were held in Taipan village, Guizhou Taijiang County, where people of the Miao ethnic group live. Beginning on the sixth day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar every year, locals celebrate the traditional Chixin Festival through a variety of activities, the most lively of which is a basketball competition.

Players from local villages and towns played their hearts out on the pitch, with cheers from the crowded audience echoing in the sky. The distinctive ethnic customs of the Miao were even more impressive. For example, the commentator switched between Mandarin, Guizhou Miao dialect and language; Miao-style song and dance performances were held during the intermissions; and special local agricultural products were distributed as contest prizes.

The basketball event embodies China beautiful countryside with traditional Chinese culture as a defining characteristic.

The tradition of playing basketball games at the Chixin Festival here is said to date back nearly 100 years. Recent years have seen improved facilities and an increasing number of participants. The Taipan Village basketball court we just saw was built in 2016. All levels of government in Guizhou will continue to renovate and expand the important site. Going forward, the new ground will see greater seating capacity and even better support facilities.

In fact, such measures and actions have become quite common over the past decade. Since 2012, China has continuously improved the cultural infrastructure network in rural areas, increased the supply of public cultural services and given greater priority to rural cultural development.

In addition to the Chixin Festival basketball games, the custom of “catching the first duck”, observed for hundreds of years in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, has now become a distinctive folk cultural sporting event attracting winter swimmers from all over the country. Chishui village in Guangdong The city of Foshan is well known for its folk customs of “fire jumping” and lion dancing during the Spring Festival. In recent years, the village has renovated the practice areas and organized live broadcasts of the events, enhancing participation in customs and their influence.

Both the perpetuation and development of rural cultural traditions and the emergence of new cultural manifestations of an ethnic nature testify to the way in which China promotes rural revitalization and the improvement of rural public cultural services, and records the ever-improving life of rural residents.

What future for VBA? Taipan villagers all believe that the games will be “bigger and better” in the years to come. It certainly seems likely.

China mosaic
VBA: Quintessence of China beautiful countryside


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