Expats embrace China's Dragon Boat Festival
To the quick, rhythmic beat of the drums, racers paddled mightily and yelled rhythmically in Chinese in a dragon boat race.
The three-day international event started on Wednesday in Fuzhou, southeast China's Fujian province, attracting some 1,200 professional and amateur racers from 48 teams, including five international ones.
As one of the most important traditions of the Dragon Boat Festival, which fell on Friday this year, dragon boat racing has been well-received by expatriates living in China.
Brzhezinskiy Boris, a racer on team Pakistan, made his debut in this type of competition. "I am very happy to be a part of it today," said the racer who learned early on about the sport.
The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month on the Chinese lunar calendar.
"When I was a teenager I did rowing, but dragon boat race has a totally different style. So this is totally new for me," Benjamin Norman, hailing from the UK but racing for team Kazakhstan, adding that the race is one of his favorite Chinese cultural traditions.
Vasilii Petrov, racer of the Russian team, also noticed a distinctive feature of the Chinese dragon boat race.
"Different from other rowing competitions I have attended, the dragon boat race is more about teamwork. Everyone on the boat is part of it," he noted.
In southwest China's Chongqing, 14 foreign students celebrated the festival in a different way in Fengsheng Ancient Town, Banan District.
Under the instructions of local residents, students learned to make Zongzi, a pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo, reed or other leaves.
Ashurmatova Sabina, an international student from Uzbekistan, said that as she stays in China longer, she loves the country more and is willing to experience more unique cultural traditions of China.