VBA: Epitome of China's beautiful countryside – StreetInsider.com

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BEIJING, Sept. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from China.org.cn on a Chinese rural basketball event gone viral online:
This summer, a basketball event went viral online in China.
But you’d be mistaken if you thought the games featured famous international players. In fact, the matches were played between villagers in China’s southwestern Guizhou province. The games were so popular that Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian and Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang both tweeted about it. Even Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming said he hoped to visit, but was worried he “wouldn’t be able to get a ticket.”
What a spectacle! Isn’t the atmosphere just as electric as a professional basketball game? Chinese netizens gave this rural basketball event a catchy name: the VBA, or “Village Basketball Association.”
The VBA games were held in Taipan village, Guizhou’s Taijiang county, where people of the Miao ethnic group live. Starting on the sixth day of the sixth month in the lunar calendar each year, locals celebrate the traditional Chixin Festival through a variety of activities, the liveliest of which is a basketball competition.
Players from local villages and towns played their hearts out on the court, with cheers from the packed audience resounding through the skies. Even more impressive were the distinctive Miao ethnic customs on show. For example, the commentator switched between Mandarin, Guizhou dialect and the Miao language; Miao-style singing and dancing performances were staged during the intermissions; and special local agricultural products were handed out as the competition prizes.
The basketball event epitomizes China’s beautiful countryside with traditional Chinese culture as the defining feature.
It’s said that the tradition of playing basketball matches on Chixin Festival here dates back almost 100 years. Recent years have seen improved facilities and a growing number of participants. The basketball court in Taipan village that we just saw was newly built in 2016. All levels of government in Guizhou will continue to renovate and expand the important venue. In the future, the new court will see larger seating capacity and even better supporting facilities.
In fact, such measures and actions have become quite common over the past decade. Since 2012, China has been continuously improving the cultural infrastructure network in rural areas, increasing the supply of public cultural services, and giving greater priority to rural cultural development.
In addition to the Chixin Festival basketball games, the custom of “catching the first duck,” which has been observed for hundreds of years in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, has now become a distinctive folk cultural sports event attracting winter swimmers from all over the country. Chishui village in Guangdong’s Foshan city is well-known for its folk customs of “fire jumping” and lion dancing on the Spring Festival. In recent years, the village has renovated practice areas and organized livestreams of the events, boosting participation in the customs and their influence.
Both the carrying forward and development of rural cultural traditions and the emergence of new cultural events with ethnic features reflect how China is promoting rural revitalization and improving rural public cultural services, and record the ever-improving lives of rural residents.
What does the future hold for the VBA? The villagers of Taipan all believe that the games will be “bigger and better” in coming years. That certainly seems likely.
China Mosaic http://www.china.org.cn/video/node_7230027.htm VBA: Epitome of China’s beautiful countrysidehttp://www.china.org.cn/video/2022-09/02/content_78401619.htm
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SOURCE China.org.cn
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