1st International Traditional Archery Tournament to be held in Qinghai

August 12th, 2010 1 comment

The First International Traditional Archery Invitational Tournament named “Colorful Magic Arrow Cup” (in Chinese, called “Wu-Cai- Shen-Jian-Bei”), will be held from Sep. 8 to 11 in Jianzha County of Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Qinghai Province, released at the press conference held in the State Council Information Office on Aug.10.

Earlier this year, to enhance the skills and culture of traditional archery of Tibetan ethnic group, the International Traditional Archery Tournament in Qinghai Province was approved by the General Administration of Sport of China.

Jointly sponsored by Chinese Archery Association,Qinghai Bureau of Sport, Qinghai TV Station and the local government of Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,the tournament aims to build up a communication platform for the archery enthusiasts at home and abroad.

Eight national-level teams from Beijing,Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Yunnan, Sichuan, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), Xinjiang and Gansuas well as 15 provincial-level teams were invited to the competition. In addition, six international archery teams from Mongolia, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Australia will also join in the contest.

All the participants will have the opportunity to enjoy archery contest while appreciate the original charm of this traditional sport event, which is expected to boost the economic development of Jianzha County as well as international exchanges.

By: Kristen Zhang, from: China Tibet Information Center

Six Arts of Ancient China

August 8th, 2010 No comments

In ancient Chinese culture, to promote all-around development, students were required to master six practical disciplines called the Six Arts (liù yì in Chinese): rites, music, archery, chariot racing, calligraphy and mathematics.

The study of rites and music instills in people a sense of dignity and harmony. The rites include those practiced at sacrificial ceremonies, funerals and military activities.

A famous saying of Confucius on music education is: “To educate somebody, you should start from poems, emphasize ceremonies and finish with music.” In other words, one cannot expect to become educated without learning music.

During the Shang Dynasty (circa 16th century – 11 century BC) and Zhou Dynasty (circa11th century – 256 BC), archery was a required skill for all aristocratic men. By practicing archery and related etiquettes, nobles not only gained the proficiency at war skills; more importantly, they also cultivated their minds and learned how to behave as nobles.

To become a charioteer is also an excellent form of training that requires the combined use of intellect and physical strength.

Writing, or calligraphy, tempers a student’s aggressiveness and arrogance, while arithmetic strengthens one’s mental agility.

Men who excelled in these six arts were thought to have reached the state of perfection.

The Six Arts have their roots in Confucian philosophy. The requirement of students to master the Six Arts is the equivalent of the Western concept of the arts and skills of the Renaissance Man.

The elements of moral education, academic study, physical education and social training are present in the Six Arts – all attributes dating back to ancient times that are considered just as valuable in the modern world.

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Horsing around at a grassland festival

August 4th, 2010 1 comment

In the dusty plains of the Gegentala grasslands, three horses run side by side at full gallop while six boys form a pyramid on their backs. The crowd roars with approval as they hoist a flag.

Under the scorching Inner Mongolian sun, the annual Nadaam Festival ran from July 11 to July 13 this year.

A three-hour bus ride from Hohhot on surprisingly good quality roads leads to a collection of temporary traditional yurts dotting the plains. Horses are tethered to stakes while goats and cows roam the plains.

At the festival site there is little choice in accommodation. Traditional yurts, essentially semi-permanent tents with a round base, sleep five to seven people in a tight circle on the floor.

For those who don’t want to rough it, the more fancy air-conditioned yurts contain a double bed, table and chairs.

On the Sunday morning the festival gets underway with an opening ceremony. Agitated sun umbrella wielding viewers jockey for position as they wait for the speeches to finish and the stunts to begin.
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