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China's oldest existing dragon boat awakens from river in Guangdong

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China's oldest existing dragon boat awakens from river in Guangdong

2024-05-19 16:36 Last Updated At:17:07

The awakening ceremony for a 592-year-old dragon boat, the oldest in the country, was held on a river in Foshan City of south China's Guangdong Province on Saturday, marking the official start of the region's dragon boat season.

The event began with a congratulatory message read by local elder Shao Juxi, inheritor of the Yanbu Old Dragon customs, at the Yanbu Community in Foshan's Nanhai District. The boat, Yanbu Old Dragon, was then moved from the riverbed to the water's surface and cleaned after resting for a year.

The 36.8-meter-long boat, constructed from belian wood, dates back to 1432. The boat was buried in the muddy riverbed because wooden dragon boats are prone to rot when kept in regular environments. In Guangdong, after the Dragon Boat Festival races, some boats are buried in the muddy riverbed and left there until the next year's festival to ensure their long-term preservation.

The locals unearthed the boat, observed worship to Hua Guang (an immortal in local folklore), and then sailed the boat along the rivers.

The highlight of the season is on the fifth and sixth days of the fifth lunar month (when the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated). The Yanbu Old Dragon will meet another old dragon boat named Renwei from Guangzhou City. Festivities will then continue for a whole month.

Locals consider dragon boats sacred and hold grand ceremonies when "lifting submerged dragon boats," a tradition passed down for centuries.

"I grew up with the old dragon (boat), and now I want to bring my son to experience this atmosphere and culture so it can be passed on to the next generation. We enjoyed it very much and felt very proud," said a local surnamed Lu.

The ceremony also attracted many tourists in the country.

"I come here to experience the vibe. It is so lively and joyful. Such grand awakening ceremony of a dragon boat is rarely seen in other places," said a tourist from Sichuan Province in southwest China.

The inheritor of the customs, also a type of intangible cultural heritage in China, said the dragon boat is a symbol of spirit of teamwork and unity.

"The dragon boat spirit embodies hard work and unity. We promote this spirit to people of Guangzhou and Foshan through the worship of Hua Guang, fostering mutual visits and comity, because we Chinese are descendants of the dragon," Shao said. During the dragon boat season, local vendors also introduce innovative cultural tourism experiences, integrating intangible cultural heritage with immersive activities, educational tours, and some creative products such as themed dolls, ornaments and shirts.

China's oldest existing dragon boat awakens from river in Guangdong

China's oldest existing dragon boat awakens from river in Guangdong

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Foreign ambassadors highlight China's innovation achievements at int'l IoT forum

2024-07-19 23:20 Last Updated At:07-20 02:17

Foreign ambassadors to China participating in a global forum on the Internet of Things (IoT) spoke highly of China's achievements in technology and innovation made in the past decade, noting that developing countries in particular have greatly benefited from Chinese development.

The diplomats made the remarks at the World IoT Top 500 Summit 2024 held Friday in Beijing, one day after the 20th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) adopted a resolution on further deepening reform across the board to advance Chinese modernization, with the support to all-around innovation included.

"Yesterday the third plenum ended and today there's the IoT conference. I have been in China for one and a half years now. I have been traveling in China. I have been very impressed because I can see that there's a lot of investment, a lot of energy is being put, not only in having renewable energy and taking care of the planet of course because of climate change, but also because there is recognition that communication technologies and IoT is the future. I recognize that the authorities, that the government is emphasizing a lot in investing and using much more the energy to push more for more research and for utilizing research and technology more to improve the economy and to move forward," said Ambassador of Malta to China John Busuttil.

Khalil Hashmi, Pakistan's ambassador to China, pointed out that he is impressed that China is not only developing technologies, but also sharing it with developing countries, while South African Ambassador to China Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele highlighted the positive impact of China's advancement on other developing countries.

"I compared it 15 years ago when I was here as a political councilor in the embassy, and I saw at that time that China was investing a lot in human resources, in technological research and development, and these are the results of that timely investment. So, whether it is AI, whether it is other emerging technologies, computing technologies, whether it is other critical components, all in all, I think it's very impressive achievement by China. China is developing technologies, but also sharing it, especially with developing countries. So, that's very impressive," said Khalil Hashmi.

"If we check what a state it was about 30, 40 years ago, China's made tremendous advances, particularly in the last 10 years. China has made it easy for developing countries because you are using these, putting in a lot of research and development, so you are able to produce advanced technologies but at an affordable price, which is key for developing countries," said Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele.

Foreign ambassadors highlight China's innovation achievements at int'l IoT forum

Foreign ambassadors highlight China's innovation achievements at int'l IoT forum

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