"Boat of Friendship": Chancheng Presents Dry-Land Dragon Boats to Cape Town, South Africa
Foshan China 2024-06-14 14:11

To celebrate the second "Cultures of China · Cape Town Dragon Boat Festival" in South Africa, the People's Government of Chancheng District presented a pair of lion dance costumes, a pair of land dragon boats, and several colorful flags to the local community. It aims to further promote Lingnan culture overseas and enhance cultural exchanges between Foshan and South Africa.

Under the bright sun, athletes of different races paddled vigorously on the central river of Cape Town, as the beats go "one, two, one, two...". This year's dragon boat festival featured ten teams, one consisting of South African Chinese and the other nine composed of local citizens.

As the competition ran, spectators enjoyed lion dance performances and took photos with the land dragon boats on the shore. Many children even climbed inside the land dragon boats to experience dragon boating.

It is believed that dragon boating began to gain popularity in South Africa in the 1990s. Following the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Africa in 1997, cultural exchanges between the two countries increased. South Africans gradually realized that dragon boating is not just a physical activity but also carries rich Chinese traditional culture.

In 2023, the Cape Town Dragon Boat Association, together with the local Chinese community, organized the dragon boat festival, elevating the local dragon boat races from a sports event to a cultural carnival.

In addition to the traditional 100-meter and 500-meter straight-line races, this year's events included new competitions such as round-trip and dragon boat tug-of-war competitions, enriching the festival's content. The cultural atmosphere of the dragon boat festival was also stronger, with activities like having dragon boat feast, making zongzi, dancing, paddling land dragon boats, and sharing the story of Qu Yuan.

Igsaan Salie, chairperson of the Cape Town Dragon Boat Association ,said that the dragon boat race perfectly blends Chinese culture with South African traits.

"I think for me personally, the thing I have enjoyed most about dragon boating is seeing 20 people facing the same direction, working toward a united goal. That really resonates well with South Africans," Salie said. "It is a great team sport and an opportunity for us to enjoy the natural beauty of Cape Town while being on the water."

Pam Newby, a member of the Cape Town Dragon Boat Association, shared deeper insights. "Upon further understanding of this sport, I discovered that it holds much more cultural significance, which has increased my interest in dragon boating."

Reporter | Eddie

Revisor | Lynn, Eleanor

Photo | Nanfang Plus, Foshan News and Media Center

*If the picture infringes any rights, please contact us for deletion.