What is the most popular sport in China? Ping-Pong? Basketball or badminton? The right answer is Chinese School Gymnastics, we also call it Chinese Radio Gymnastics. It is a well-known sport with a large number of participants. It is performed without holding or using any gymnastics equipment, all you need is an empty space and the audio recording. You could also have a person dictate the gymnastics instructions vocally. Every week from Monday to Friday in Chinese schools, students will do it all together in the playground. The first Chinese Radio Gymnastics was created in 1951, according to the statistics, life expectancy was only 35 years at that time. In order to make people stronger, they created it. After that year it has become more and more popular in China, over thousands and thousands Chinese join this sport. Now it has been a wonderful memory for some people who were born at that time.
Our Culture lesson teacher Icy showed us a video and then taught us how to do Chinese School Gymnastic! There are nine different kinds of Chinese Radio Gymnastic. Different eras have different types. In this culture lesson, we learned the eight styles of this sport, there are nine types of movement.
Every year China has a Chinese School Radio Gymnastic competition at our Chinese schools. For some school, they ask the students to do the Gymnastic two times a day from Monday to Friday while they study at school, continually year by year until they graduate. Nowadays most of the student have the same question: “What is the purpose for us doing that? We knew why we created it, but now the situation has been changed totally, our average life expectancy has become longer and longer, and we can do the other sport as well.” As time passed, some students created their own style called “The New Chinese School Gymnastic”.
For me that is only a gymnastic to make me stronger, it is an unforgettable memory. For the people who were born in that time, they all will have the same feeling as I do. To tell a personal story, in the older days people in China used to be shy and when a guy liked a girl he was too shy to face her and tell her. In the gymnastics, however, there is one type of movement called “Body rotation” and it is my favourite part of it. I am sure other like this exercise too because when they doing it they can turn around and see their crush, maybe so this is why they perform the body rotation movement happily.
Maybe Chinese Radio Gymnastics has a purpose after all.