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Soccer match helps new year celebrations kick off

China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-20 08:55

Village Night is staged at a stadium in Rongjiang county, Guizhou province, during the halftime break of a soccer game on Feb 2. LIU XU/XINHUA

GUIYANG — A soccer match kicked off in Rongjiang county, in Southwest China's Guizhou province, around 5:20 pm on Feb 3 as part of this year's Village Super League and to mark the ongoing Spring Festival.

When the final whistle was blown, the Guizhou Village Super League Football Team, in blue, had beaten the Macao Workers' Union Football Team, in red, 3-2.

This match was also an important part of this year's Village Night demonstration and exhibition activities and helped promote exchanges between Guizhou and Macao.

"The Village Super League is so charming and attractive. It is an unforgettable experience for me to bring our team here and socialize with local players," said Lin Jinxiong, from the Macao team.

Lin added that it was also a rare opportunity to get a close look at the colorful ethnic cultures and beautiful natural scenery of the motherland, and he hopes there will be more exchanges between Guizhou and Macao.

During the halftime break, Macao's cheer-leading team performed a traditional "drunken dragon dance" to the rhythmic beats of gongs and drums.

Artistic and cultural performances at the stadium are one of the highlights of the rural cultural and sports carnival, filling the stadium with the sounds and colors of diverse ethnic cultures.

At about 7:30 pm, Village Night, the Spring Festival gala in Rongjiang, began with local members of the Miao ethnic group singing ancient songs.

The gala also featured the Kam Grand Choir of the Dong people, the Jinji Dance of the Miao and the drumming of the Yao.

Just like the grassroots and villager-centered Village Super League, Village Night also has a "down-to-earth flavor" and calls on everyone to participate.

Besides students, farmers, vendors and village cadres from Rongjiang, the county also invited villagers from nearby counties to join in the festival, which attracted more than 2,300 participants.

In addition to the ethnic cultural displays, there were many modern performances, including a show called Football Dream that combined football skills, folk dances, gymnastics and other elements that showcased the energetic spirit of Rongjiang teenagers.

Young foreigners were also invited to participate in this year's Village Night, and Anita Miavazandry, from Madagascar, sang the song Shake Hands with the World with other foreign students.

"It is an unforgettable experience to participate in Village Night," she said. "It has always been my dream to perform at the Village Super League stadium, and today my dream came true.

"Besides appreciating the unique local ethnic culture, I also hope to share the happiness of Village Night with more people."

At the end of the gala, people from different ethnic groups formed a gigantic circle, playing musical instruments, dancing and singing together, as well as blessing one another for the Chinese New Year.

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