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Thread: Taijiquan listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

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    Taiji as a World Heritage

    Shaolin kung fu has been making a continued bid - see our UNESCO and the politics of culture thread.
    CPPCC member calls on Tai Chi to bid for World Cultural Heritage
    * Source: Global Times
    * [18:06 January 20 2011]


    Photo taken on December 27, 2010 shows an American policewoman practicing Tai Chi following her master in Baoding, Hebei Province.

    A member of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) from Henan Province said it is necessary for Tai Chi, an "internal" Chinese martial art form to bid as World Cultural Heritage, the China News Agency reported on Wednesday.

    Statistics shows the number of Tai Chi exercisers reaches around 300 million from home and abroad, said the report.

    The beauty of Tai Chi (literally "supreme ultimate fist") movements is derived from its 2,000-year-old history as an "internal" Chinese martial art form, which redirects energy, or 'qi', used by attackers against them. Although this is a more indirect martial arts approach compared to the aggressive and explosive movements of Shaolin Kung Fu, it can still be used with deadly intent.


    Photo taken on May 23, 2010 shows competitors performing Tai Chi in Qingzhou, Shandong Province.
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    More in the wake of Prime Minister Modi's visit

    More on Modi and Yoga here.

    China wants Yoga-like recognition of Tai Chi by UNTNN | May 17, 2015, 09.29 AM IST

    NEW DELHI: Even as New Delhi and Beijing celebrate the success of a series of bilaterals and billion dollar deals between the two nations, the two nations are engaging in a different sort of a duel. Agencies report that China now plans to push for global recognition for Tai Chi following India's successful efforts to get June 21 designated as the International Yoga Day by the UN.

    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang along with Prime Minister Modi attended the joint presentation of Yoga and Tai Chi performance by nearly 400 mostly Chinese and few Indian youths at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing on Friday.

    Later, agencies report, Chinese officials said Li wanted to get UN recognition for Tai Chi too.

    Yoga, which is being considered as India's tool for soft diplomacy, remained in focus during Narendra Modi's recent Chinese visit. After witnessing a display of the two ancient arts, Prime Minister Modi tweeted, "It was a delight seeing Indian & Chinese children do Yoga and Taichi."

    Interestingly, China was one of the co-sponsors of the India-backed resolution at the UN to get June 21 declared as the International Yoga Day.

    Yoga will also have the spotlight turned on it at the 68th World Health Assembly in Geneva which begins from May 18 and runs till May 27.

    Union Health Minister J P Nadda will open a photo exhibition "Yoga for All, Yoga for Health" at the mega event, when India assumes its presidency after a gap of 19 years. The move is significant since the BJP-led government has promoted the spiritual and ascetic discipline ever since it came to power at the Centre.

    The exhibition at the WHA will also be endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) with its director general Margaret Chan launching the event along with Nadda, who is leading a high-level Indian delegation to Geneva.

    The Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from 194 member countries and will review activities of WHO through the year and set new priorities for the future.

    This year, the Assembly is expected to deliberate on key issues of anti-microbial resistance, air pollution and health, global health emergency, preparedness and surveillance, global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property, and research and development in neglected tropical diseases.

    Nadda will also participate in a number of bilateral and multilateral meetings on the sidelines of the Assembly, including the Commonwealth health ministers' meeting and BRICS health ministers' meeting.
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    ttt 4 2017!

    CPWDP? What happened to the CPPCC push?

    Inclusion of Tai Chi on UNESCO World Heritage List Urged
    March 1, 2017
    By People's Daily Online Editor: Penny Huang

    The Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party (CPWDP) will propose the inclusion of Tai Chi on the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage List at the upcoming annual Two Sessions, in an effort to protect and promote the traditional sport.

    As an internal martial art practiced both for self-defense and health, Tai Chi has spread to more than 150 countries and regions, being adopted by over 300 million practitioners. Despite its popularity, research on Tai Chi is scarce, and its promotion relies primarily on non-governmental forces.

    Though Tai Chi is widely recognized as a symbol of Chinese culture, and was listed as an intangible cultural heritage by Chinese authorities in 2006, its protection and promotion still lag behind foreign athletic practices like yoga, Thepaper.cn reported.

    "Yoga was listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage in 2016, a status that helps to protect the culture of yoga. Chinese authorities should recommend Tai Chi to UNESCO as soon as possible, as surrounding countries like Japan and South Korea are also keen on the martial art, and may claim it as their own before China makes the move," read an announcement from CPWDP.

    China has been campaigning for the inclusion of Tai Chi on the UNESCO list since 2008. However, due to UNESCO's strict criteria for intangible cultural heritage evaluation, the application is still pending as of press time.

    "The biggest problem with Tai Chi's inclusion on the UNESCO list is the lack of accurate translations of Tai Chi theories and philosophy. For instance, the Tai Chi theory that man is an integral part of nature is hard even for [Chinese practitioners] to understand, let alone foreign experts," Yan Shuangjun, a Tai Chi expert, told Xinhua News Agency in 2014.

    CPWDP is now calling for the establishment of a national Tai Chi center, as well as the introduction of martial arts to universities and medical research facilities. Authorities hope these changes can increase academic research on Tai Chi.

    Founded in Shanghai in August 1930, the CPWDP now has more than 144,000 members, including many leading intellectuals in the fields of medicine and healthcare.

    (Source: People's Daily Online)
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    South Korea? Japan? Before China? Oooooh, that'll make them mad.

    China nominates Tai Chi for UNESCO list
    China Daily@ChinaDailyUSA


    File: Tai Chi (VCG Photo)

    March 27, 2017
    China has nominated Tai Chi for inclusion in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, with a final decision to come late this year.

    For residents of Chenjiagou village, the birthplace of Tai Chi, a more than 10-year wait to see the martial art recognized globally as intangible Chinese heritage could soon be over.

    The application, made by Wenxian county in Henan province, has been in the making since 2006, when the country drew up its first national intangible heritage list and included Tai Chi, said Zheng Aizhen, chairman of the Wenxian committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top policy advisory body.

    “For the past decade, we have collected materials, gathered a lot of masters and experts together to discuss Tai Chi culture and tried to restore the centuries-old history of Tai Chi,” Zheng said. “As a precious traditional Chinese legacy, we all have a responsibility to protect it.”

    China attempted to get UNESCO status for the martial art in 2008, but the application-one of 35 from China that year-was withdrawn after an evaluation deemed it “too vague”, according to reports.

    The next year, the rules were changed to limit nations to only two nominations, which for China were Peking Opera and acupuncture. Both went onto make the list.

    The latest attempt to include Tai Chi comes amid speculation that South Korea and Japan could make similar nominations.

    Zhang Liyong, a deputy to the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, and president of the Henan High People’s Court, said that the situation is urgent: “Both South Korea and Japan were trying to get Tai Chi registered. South Korea has already registered the Dragon Boat Festival as theirs, so we should be alarmed.”

    He was referring to the decision by UNESCO to grant intangible heritage status to the Gangneung Danoje Festival in 2008, which caused anger among some Chinese, who argued that the event is derived from the Dragon Boat Festival and accused the United Nations of endorsing South Korea’s appropriation of Chinese culture. UNESCO added the Chinese festival to the list in 2009.

    Chen Xiaowang, a Tai Chi master, said claims that Tai Chi was invented in Korea are based on a fictional character from a kung fu novel by Hong Kong writer Louis Cha. He said the martial art’s history can be traced to creator Chen Wangting in the mid-17th century.

    “If we fail again in our application, or if it is registered by South Korea, it will be a great pity,” Chen said.

    Zhu Xianghua, 40, the son of Tai Chi master Zhu Tiancai, said he feels a growing duty to protect Tai Chi culture. “It is not just a traditional activity; it is deeply rooted in many areas of Chinese culture, such as medicine, aesthetics and mechanics,” Zhu said.

    Story from China Daily.
    The Dragon Boat situation is kind of funny. South Korea is the Iron Fist of UNESculturalO appropriation.
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    More details

    Good headline, great story telling. Good ol' NYT.

    Tai Chi Encourages Calm. So Why Are Its Chinese Fans Stressing Out?
    点击查看本文中文版
    By KAROLINE KANMARCH 17, 2017



    Zhang Jian, a tai chi master, leading his students through the motions in a park in Beijing this month. Tai chi advocates in China fear that if the country does not secure it a Unesco listing, other countries might move ahead with their own variants. Credit Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times
    BEIJING — Last year, Indian yoga made Unesco’s list. In 2011, South Korea’s taekkyeon became the first martial art so honored.

    So why can’t Chinese tai chi win similar international recognition?

    That is the question on Yan Shuangjun’s mind as the annual deadline approaches for nominations to Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list, established by the United Nations agency to celebrate and protect the world’s cultural diversity. For the past decade, Mr. Yan has lobbied for the inclusion of tai chi, a centuries-old martial art that combines flowing movements with deep breathing and meditation.

    “Through tai chi, one can understand Chinese culture, from medicine to literature, from philosophy to art,” said Mr. Yan, who heads the Tai Chi Unesco Heritage Application Group in Wen County, Henan Province, widely thought to be the martial art’s birthplace.

    As much as tai chi advocates and fans insist that it embodies unique aspects of Chinese culture, they fear that if China does not secure it a Unesco listing, other countries might move ahead with their own variants. It would not be the first time, they say.

    Although tai chi may have its roots in self-defense, in recent years it has gained broad popularity as a therapeutic exercise, promoting physical fitness while reducing stress. Across China and beyond, its practitioners can be seen gathered in parks and other public spaces, moving slowing in unison through prescribed routines.

    But that very popularity is adding to its advocates’ concerns. During the recently concluded session of the National People’s Congress, a delegate from Henan, Zhang Liyong, stressed the urgency of the matter.

    “Both South Korea and Japan are competing with us to get tai chi registered,” Mr. Zhang told reporters. “Especially South Korea. Some people there are claiming tai chi was invented by Koreans. And since South Korea has already registered the Dragon Boat Festival as theirs, we should be alarmed.”

    China’s Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the ancient poet Qu Yuan with boat races and a public holiday. When Unesco added South Korea’s Gangneung Danoje Festival to its list in 2008, some Chinese objected that it was derived from the Dragon Boat Festival and accused the United Nations of endorsing Koreans’ appropriation of Chinese culture. The Chinese festival was accepted in 2009.

    Recognition confers prestige rather than a monetary prize. But that prestige means a lot to Mr. Yan. So far, he has not heard whether the Chinese government will nominate tai chi, and he says he is getting anxious. The deadline is March 31.

    “No news is bad news,” he said.

    When China drew up its own national intangible cultural heritage list in 2006, tai chi was on it. And in 2008, tai chi was among China’s 35 nominations to Unesco. But Mr. Yan and his associates were told that Unesco found the application “too vague.” They were asked to revise and resubmit it.

    They withdrew it, hoping to offer it for consideration the next year. But then the rules changed. No country could submit more than two candidates. Tai chi was shut out when China nominated Peking opera and acupuncture, both of which won Unesco recognition.

    “Since then,” Mr. Yan lamented, “tai chi has never stood out on the long list of Chinese heritage items waiting for inclusion.”

    Among the items that have won Unesco recognition for China in recent years are shadow puppetry and mathematical calculations based on the abacus.

    The nominations are submitted to Unesco by the Ministry of Culture’s intangible cultural heritage center. Reached by telephone, a researcher at the center, who declined to give her name, said it would not be convenient to discuss which candidates would be put forward this year.

    Zhang Jian, a 57-year-old tai chi master in Beijing, said it would be a shame if tai chi failed again to be nominated.

    “When people talk about kung fu, they usually think of the Shaolin Temple,” Mr. Zhang said, referring to the temple and its monks in Dengfeng County, Henan Province, popularized in martial arts movies. “But Shaolin kung fu is more about performance. Tai chi is different. It’s all about personal practice and deserves more attention.”

    Mr. Yan said he would keep up the campaign to win wider global recognition for Chinese tai chi.

    “Compared with many other aspects of Chinese culture, tai chi is relatively practical and could help China expand its soft power,” he said. “Even our astronauts practiced tai chi, so we’ve already made it into outer space!”

    Follow Karoline Kan on Twitter @KarolineCQKan.
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    More

    'Chenjiagou Thai Chi School'

    Oh Christian Science Monitor....

    A Tai Chi sweep? China bids for UNESCO cultural heritage status.
    UNDERSTANDING OTHERS In the birthplace of tai chi, hopes are high for later this year, when UNESCO will decide whether to add tai chi to its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Advocates want to make sure that Japan or South Korea doesn't beat China out.



    Michael Holtz/The Christian Science Monitor Staff writer @michaelrholtz

    MARCH 31, 2017 CHENJIAGOU, CHINA—The clamoring of a jackhammer and shrill barks of two golden retrievers make a jarring soundtrack for Yan Ziteng’s afternoon tai chi class, but neither he nor his students seem to notice.

    Instead, they concentrate on moving through a series of slow, sweeping motions while Mr. Yan looks on with a quiet intensity. Every few minutes he stops to demonstrate a pose or to suggest adjustments.

    “Tai chi isn’t something you can learn from reading books,” he tells his students at Chenjiagou Thai Chi School. “I’ve been practicing for 15 years, and I still have much to learn.”

    Yan appears wholly undisturbed by the din of construction that is a regular accompaniment to life here in Chenjiagou, the birthplace of tai chi. That may be because it signals the anticipated tourism boom that could transform this village into a global center for Chinese martial arts.

    Later this year, UNESCO will decide whether to add tai chi to its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. China’s Ministry of Culture recently submitted its nomination to UNESCO, after tai chi advocates had warned that time was running out. They worried another country could beat China to the list with its own version of tai chi.

    “Japan and South Korea are also trying to apply,” Yan says about the list, which was established by UNESCO in 2008 to celebrate and protect cultural diversity. “Tai chi is a treasure of Chinese culture. If we succeed, it would be good for our village and for the promotion of Chinese martial arts to the world.”

    But there are other issues at stake here, too. For one, yoga, which won UNESCO designation in India last year, has emerged as a trendy alternative. Then there's simple fact that the ancient martial art isn't as popular among young Chinese, many of whom think of it as a low-intensity exercise better suited for their grandparents.

    “The first impression I have of tai chi is that it’s something old people do in parks,” says Yin Haolong, a 29-year-old freelance graphic designer and photographer in Beijing.

    Birthplace of tai chi

    Chenjiagou sits just north of the Yellow River in the central province of Henan, about 350 miles south of Beijing. It was here where Chen Wangting, a Ming Dynasty general, is believed to have developed tai chi toward the end of the 16th century. What became known as Chen-style tai chi soon spread across China and became the foundation for four main offshoots.

    Tai chi's links to promoting physical and mental wellness have boosted its following, even though its origins are in self-defense. It’s practiced by millions of people across the world. Huang Kanghui, a tai chi coach at Beijing Sport University, estimates about 100 million people practice tai chi in China alone.

    Chen Baobei, a shopkeeper in Chenjiagou, says she hopes the growing interest in tai chi will lead more people to explore its birthplace. She says a UNESCO designation could only help, though the only award is recognition.

    A near lifelong resident of Chenjiagou, Chen expresses deep pride in her village's connection to tai chi. She practices for 30 minutes every morning, and estimates that 80 percent of the villagers are regular practitioners.

    “Maybe someday as many people who go to Shaolin Temple will come here,” Chen says, referring to the fabled home of kung fu that’s visited by millions of tourists every year and located 50 miles away.

    The local government is also anticipating a rise in tourism. Chen’s storefront is one of dozens that it helped renovate over the past year. It also built a new tree-lined walkway through the center of the village and reconstructed the former home of Yang Luchan, a revered tai chi master who lived here in the 19th century.

    Chen’s store sits across the road from Chenjiagou Tai Chi School, one of the oldest in the village. Founded in 1980, the school is a series of drab concrete buildings that encircle a large courtyard. Every afternoon some 200 students meet outside for three hours of training, weightlifting, and more creative forms of conditioning, such as climbing over the top of a 5-foot-tall tractor tire.

    Chenjiagou Tai Chi School has enrolled students as young as three and older than 70. On a recent afternoon, a young girl practices with a group of middle-aged women near a gray brick wall. Still, the majority of students are teenage boys and men in their 20s. Some come for week-long courses; others have been studying there for more than a decade.

    As tai chi’s popularity continues to grow, the school has opened more than 140 branches across China and dozens of branches in cities as far away as Buenos Aires, Warsaw, and Seattle.

    “[Chinese] people who live in cities are often in poor health and poor spirits,” says Ren Mingming, a tai chi master who runs two branches in Beijing. “Tai chi is not only a martial art, it’s also a philosophy.” He says that philosophy, with its emphasis on moderation and balance – yin and yang – can help relieve the stresses of modern life.

    Experts say such promises have made tai chi popular among China’s increasingly health-conscious middle class, even as it competes with yoga.

    A report by the market research firm Daxue Consulting estimates that 10 million Chinese practiced yoga in 2014, up from 4 million in 2009. Mr. Yin started doing yoga five years and says more and more of his friends have taken an interest in it too.

    Yet there could be room for compromise and even crossover between yoga and tai chi. In May 2015, a group of 400 practitioners from both disciplines performed in Beijing for Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi during his first state visit to China. Then came Jackie Chan’s comedy-action film “Kung Fu Yoga,” which topped the Chinese box office earlier this year.

    Meanwhile, the next generation of tai chi masters is coming of age in Chenjiagou. Jin Saifei, a 13-year-old boy from Anhui province, enrolled in Chenjiagou Tai Chi School two months ago after studying for several years at Shaolin Temple. Poised and deliberate in his practice, he says he plans to dedicate his life to tai chi.

    “I want to start my own tai chi school someday,” he says. “My dream is to become a tai chi master.”

    • Xie Yujuan contributed reporting.
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    more coverage

    Tai Chi advocates campaign for art to be included in UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage
    By Sam - April 10, 2017



    Tai Chi is one of the most popular forms of exercise in China, especially for the elderly.
    The martial art, which combines slow and fluid movements, deep breathing and meditation, has been practiced in China for centuries. Every movement of Tai Chi embodies a fundamental concept in traditional Chinese philosophy – harmony.
    Chen Zhenglei, a 68-year-old Tai Chi master, says that Tai Chi represents Chinese culture and philosophy.
    The martial art is a practice that supports a balance in the human body, that is Yin and Yang.
    In Chinese philosophy, Yin and Yang are two elements that make up the universe and everything in it and that also oppose each other. Yin and Yang always need to be kept in total balance.


    Tai Chi master Chen Zhenglei, 68, practicing the martial art. /CGTN Photo

    For the past decade, Yan Shuangjun, vice chairman of Wenxian Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, has been working to have Tai Chi included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. He fears that if China does not secure a UNESCO listing, other countries might move ahead with their own variants.
    Yan says that everyone in China hopes Tai Chi will be recognized by the world, because it will help strengthen the Tai Chi inheritors’ confidence and pride so that they can dedicate themselves to cultural protection.
    Chen Zhenglei is concerned. He worries that if another country puts Tai Chi on the list first, no one will believe Tai Chi was invented in China. And then how will Tai Chi masters face their ancestors, who created the martial art thousands of years ago?
    In 2008, Tai Chi was among China’s 35 nominations to the list, but it was withdrawn after an evaluation said the application was “too vague.” The next year, the rules were changed and each nation was limited to two nominations per year. Now the rules are even stricter. Each country can only make one nomination every two years.
    Chen Zhenglei said: “I’ve been to more than 50 countries and established over 100 Tai Chi schools. Now I have 800 disciples and hundreds of thousands of students. I’ve dedicated my whole life to Tai Chi. This is my responsibility.”


    Tai Chi is becoming popular among young people who want to relieve the stresses of modern life. /CGTN Photo

    Today, Tai Chi is a daily routine for millions of people. And the ancient martial art is becoming popular among young people who want to relieve the stresses of modern life. They can be seen gathered in public spaces worldwide, moving gracefully in unison.
    With 5,000 years of history, China has undoubtedly amassed numerous cultural relics and traditions. This includes 37 which are recognized by UNESCO World Heritage. One practice still awaiting recognition is Tai Chi. Both Yan Shuangjun and Chen Zhenglei say that they’ll continue to lead the campaign to get the ancient practice on the list.
    I'm trying to imagine how it will go down if another country does get Taiji in before China...
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    Hong Weiguo @ CPPCC

    Tai chi master proposes academy and worldwide institutes
    By Zhang Rui
    0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, March 26, 2018


    Master Hong Weiguo poses during an interview with China.org.cn at a hotel in Beijing in late March 2018. [Photo / China.org.cn]

    An overseas master of martial arts has appealed to establish a tai chi academy and institutes around the world to teach and promote the ancient Chinese practice and philosophy, which enjoys wide popularity as a wellness exercise among Chinese people today.

    Hong Weiguo, the New Zealand-based kung fu master and one of 35 overseas Chinese invited to attend the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing, performed tai chi boxing spontaneously in front of the Great Hall of the People following a plenary meeting during the assembly of China's top political advisors from March 3-15.

    "I did that because I was thrilled to attend the event, a supreme summit of advisors," Hong told China.org.cn in a recent interview, "and I wanted to demonstrate tai chi at this special event and get everybody there to enjoy and know tai chi."


    Master Hong Weiguo performs tai chi in front of the Great Hall of the People following a plenary meeting during the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) from March 3-15, 2018. [Photo / China.org.cn]

    China's top advisory body has invited overseas Chinese from around the world to its annual national session every year since 2001, as a means to let Chinese living abroad understand more about China's political systems and also encourage them to make contributions or proposals to China as a nation, or to their ancestral hometowns. This year, 35 delegates from 25 countries were invited and Hong was one of them. Unlike CPPCC members who serve a 5-year term, overseas delegates receive the opportunity to attend the national meeting just one time.

    "Although I would only have the privilege to attend the national meeting once, I felt this would be a lifetime honor and responsibility for me. And I felt very proud of the strong and prosperous motherland," he said.

    The master was applauded at the CPPCC session, and one photo even showed him talking congenially with Yao Ming, the former national basketball icon, president of the Chinese Basketball Association and a CPPCC member.

    "Yao loves tai chi," Hong said. "He told me he studied it when he was in Houston."

    Hong is the adopted grandson of Hong Junsheng, the late founder of Hong-style tai chi. In the 1990s, he originally wanted to become a kung fu star as he studied a martial arts style from the Shaolin Temple in his youth, but his dream was cut short when he seriously injured his leg during college. After years of recovery and searching for help, master Hong Junsheng suggested tai chi, which eventually cured him.

    "Mr. Hong Junsheng is my teacher, my master, my mentor and my guru... I don't have words to describe how important he was to me," said Hong, noting that he learned not only the form, but also the life philosophy from master Hong Junsheng. It was his master's last wish which inspired him to become an ambassador of tai chi, to strive to contribute to good health around the globe.

    Hong went to New Zealand in 1999 with a dream to promote Chinese tai chi and received a green card in 2006 for his tai chi expertise. After retiring from business in 2012, he became a tai chi teacher, working with local communities and schools, as well as at China's Confucius Institute in New Zealand, performing and teaching the practice for free. Each year, Hong spends half of his time on the road, travelling to dozens of countries to speak about and teach tai chi. His disciples and followers are scattered across the globe.

    "I knew currently there are 300 million to 400 million people around the world learning and practicing tai chi—the boxing style which is a symbol of China, like India's Yoga," he said. "President Xi Jinping has stressed confidence in Chinese culture many times, and I think tai chi is one of the national treasures that can enhance confidence and promote Chinese culture."

    "I always tell people, 'Tai chi is originally from China, but belongs to the world,'" he said. "Tai chi is beautiful. It can convey health, harmony and peace. It is a universal body language. If anyone becomes interested in it and start to appreciate it, they will then come to study Chinese language and culture, which is very good for the promotion of Chinese culture. It will not force or persuade anyone to learn Chinese, but invite more people in naturally with its own beauty."

    The master brought one proposal to the CPPCC session this year, asking to speed up the process of applying to UNESCO to include tai chi on the intangible cultural heritage list. "What a pity that tai chi has not yet been recognized by UNESCO after a decade-long effort. It is a great vehicle of essential Chinese culture, body exercise and philosophy originating from Taoism," said Hong. He expressed his hope that more people can understand the importance and urgency of securing the status of tai chi in the world, as well as his hope that the relevant government departments in China will consider forming a tai chi academy.


    Master Hong Weiguo talks to Yao Ming, China's basketball icon and a political advisor on the steps of the Great Hall of the People during the first session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) from March 3-15, 2018. [Photo courtessy of Hong Weiguo]

    In Hong's vision, the tai chi academy will not be solely about physical education, but also about its cultural connotations. The academy will study and promote tai chi, and also take on related studies of ancient Chinese civilization, traditional Chinese medicine and more.

    The martial art, he explained, will cultivate people's body and mind and help them walk on the right path. "When you have a right heart and mind, you will have positive power to build a better society."

    He believes there are significant markets for tai chi overseas, especially with China proposing the Belt and Road Initiative among dozens of countries. "But we still need more real inheritors, promoters and teachers of tai chi outside of China," he stressed. "If the central government can allocate more money and efforts, the tai chi academy and institutes will be able to operate in parallel with the Confucius Institutes in the future—one for Chinese cultural teaching and studies, and one for physical education and martial arts philosophy."

    As to the reported doubts about the Confucius Institutes and about the potential future of the tai chi institutes coming from some people in foreign countries in recent years, Hong Weiguo only smiled. "This is also right for tai chi philosophy. Everything has two sides, and people will always have something to say, good or bad. You should just move on and do your right things."
    Yao? So Kung Fu Dunk
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    Taijiquan listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

    Finally!

    China's Taijiquan listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage
    Source: Xinhua| 2020-12-17 20:58:47|Editor: huaxia
    BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) inscribed on Thursday China's Taijiquan on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

    The decision was announced during the online meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held from December 14 to 19 in Kingston, capital of Jamaica.

    Taijiquan, a kind of traditional martial arts, was born in the mid-17th century in a small village named Chenjiagou located in Central China's Henan province, before it spread to more than 150 countries and regions, attracting more than 100 million people to practise.

    The village Chenjiagou has dozens of Taijiquan schools and more than 800 current masters, drawing learners all over the world.

    "Taijiquan is not just a sport to make people fit, but also contains Chinese culture and philosophy," said Yan Shuangjun, a researcher of Taijiquan. "The application started in 2008, and now we made a victory, which will help this sport to reach more places."

    "Taijiquan is one of the most important wushu events promoted by the International Wushu Federation. Its inclusion is of great significance to the promotion of wushu, and especially taijiquan, globally," said Zhang Qiuping, Secretary-General of the International Wushu Federation.

    Since 2014, the World Taijiquan Championships have been held every two years by the International Wushu Federation. It provides a platform for communication and learning between the taijiquan elites and taijiquan lovers around the globe. In January 2020, taijiquan became an official event in the 2026 Dakar Youth Olympic Games.
    related post - Zhang Sanfeng Tai Chi Chuan bid as China Intangible Cultural Heritage
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
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    And Wangchuan

    Tempted to make an 'everybody wangchuan tonight' joke. But I won't.

    Culture China 20:57, 17-Dec-2020
    Taijiquan and Wangchuan ceremony inscribed on UNESCO heritage list
    Updated 22:59, 17-Dec-2020
    CGTN
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    People practice Taijiquan in China /CFP

    China's Taijiquan and Wangchuan ceremony jointly declared by China and Malaysia were officially inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on Thursday.

    The inclusions make China rank first in the world with a total of 42 intangible cultural heritage items inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

    The decision was made during the online meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held from December 14 to 19 in Kingston, capital of Jamaica, which reviewed 50 intangible cultural heritage items declared by 57 countries.


    The Wangchuan ceremony is held in east China's Fujian Province. /CFP

    Taijiquan is a traditional physical exercise characterized by circular movements that work in concert with breath regulation and the cultivation of a healthy mind. Born in the mid-17th century in Wenxian County, central China's Henan Province, martial arts have spread to more than 150 countries and regions, attracting more than 100 million people to practice.

    The Wangchuan ceremony is rooted in folk customs of worshipping Ong Yah, a deity believed to protect people and their lands from sea disasters. Originated in China's Minnan (southern Fujian Province) region between the 15th and 17th centuries, the tradition is now centered in the coastal Xiamen Bay and Quanzhou Bay areas, as well as in the Chinese communities in Melaka, Malaysia. The ritual is a vivid example of the spread and integration of Chinese culture in countries along the Maritime Silk Road.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #11
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    Tekes County celebration

    Follow the link for the embedded vid

    Video 20:38, 22-Dec-2020
    Tai Chi enters UNESCO heritage list; here's how practitioners celebrated

    Thousands of Tai Chi practitioners in Tekes County, northwest China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region, performed in celebration of Tai Chi making to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Tai Chi is one of the most popular sports in the country. Currently, Tai Chi courses are offered in 36 schools and 26 teaching sites in China.
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  12. #12
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    China Day mass demo

    Tai chi session attracts over 1,000
    December 28, 2020
    James Kon

    Over 1,000 participants took part in a Tai Chi session yesterday, as part of China Day and an attempt to gain an entry into the Brunei Book of Records.

    The event was held in separate locations and adhered to the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) guidelines for mass gatherings.

    Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Brunei Darussalam Wang Haitao and Chairman of the Brunei-China Friendship Association Muhammad Firdaus bin Abdul Rahman also took part in the event at the Indoor Stadium.

    Ambassador of France to Brunei Darussalam Christian Ramage and national Wushu coach Li Hui also joined.

    Leading the session was tai chi master Zhao Chunjie.

    Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong meanwhile attended the session at Muara Beach.


    Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali joins a tai chi session. PHOTO: JAMES KON
    The other venues were Chung Hwa Middle School Bandar Seri Begawan (CHMS BSB), the National Service Programme (PKBN) Training Camp in the Temburong District and Lanes Hotel in the Tutong District.

    Following the half-hour tai chi session, the deputy permanent secretary congratulated the participants for their efforts in attempting to set a new record.

    He said, “Through this session, we hope to create awareness on tai chi and its benefits for a
    healthy lifestyle.”

    “This is part of an event under China Day, in conjunction with Brunei-China Year of Tourism 2020 and the Brunei December Festival 2020.

    “China Day is hosted by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Brunei Darussalam and organised by the Brunei-China Friendship Association, with support from the MPRT and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS).”

    Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added the centuries-old martial art and exercise to its intangible cultural heritage list.
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  13. #13
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    The official listing on UNESCO

    Stumbled across this while doing some other reasearch.

    Taijiquan
    China
    Inscribed in 2020 (15.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

    Taijiquan is a traditional physical practice characterized by relaxed, circular movements that works in concert with breath regulation and the cultivation of a righteous and neutral mind. Originating during the mid-seventeenth century in Wenxian County in the Henan Province of central China, the element is now practised throughout the country by people of all ages and by different ethnic groups. Taijiquan’s basic movements center upon wubu (five steps) and bafa (eight techniques) with a series of routines, exercises and tuishou (hand-pushing skills performed with a counterpart). Influenced by Daoist and Confucian thought and theories of traditional Chinese medicine, the element has developed into several schools (or styles) named after a clan or a master’s personal name. The element is passed down through clan-based transmission or the master-apprentice model. The latter relationship is established through the traditional ceremony of baishi. Taijiquan has also been incorporated into the formal education system. The element builds upon the yin and yang cycle and the cultural understanding of the unity of heaven and humanity. It has been disseminated through legends, proverbs and rituals, among other vehicles of expression. Safeguarding the element would increase its visibility and dialogue about the diverse ways Taijiquan is practised by different communities.

    Gene Ching
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