Friday, April 24, 2009

Temple of Heaven Park 3

Old folks "baby gym" 
Jiàn zi 毽子 - Chinese featherball or shuttlecock
Leg exercisers.

Qigong April 2009 all photos ©Ingrid Booz Morejohn

We've recently been discussing "health issues", so here are more images from the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Exercise machines like those featured above are soon going to be introduced outdoors in at least one Swedish city to encourage adults (not just children) to exercise. The featherball game pictured above is called jiànzi 毽子 and is one of the most common exercise games in China. (It is also called jiànqiú (毽球) among many other names). It is common in other parts of Asia as well (seems its the national sport in Vietnam, da cau) and is a cheap sport - you only need enthusiasm and the featherball which costs 3-4 yuan. The feathercock is heavily weighted on the bottom with a small number of metal or plastic discs. The point is to keep it up in the air for as long as possible, either passing it back and forth to fellow players or by yourself - all the while never using the hands. The more elegant and tricky the better! Jianzi has existed in some form in China for at least 2,000 years and is now played competitively in many countries around the world. 

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