Pao Xiuqiu (China)

Name of sport (game): Pao Xiuqiu
Name in native language: Pao Xiuqiu
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):




There is a popular tale of Xiuqiu and its function as a token of love. Long time ago, there was a poor family living in the town called Jiuzhou, Jinxi county. The son of the poor family A Di fell in love with the girl, A Xiu, of the neighbouring village.
One spring, when A Xiu was going to the market, she was spotted by a rich and powerful evil young man. This bad male wanted to marry A Xiu, however, A Xiu did not agree. When the young man found out that A Xiu was deeply in love with A Di, in order to make A Xiu forget A Di, he bribed the local official who charged A Di with sentence to death on groundless reasons and put him in prison to wait for the punishment in autumn.
When the news reached A Xiu, she started to cry. She began to sew a Xiuqiu (ball made from embroidery) for A Di stitch after stitch. The needle pierced her finger and blood started to spout over the Xiuqiu. When soaked by the blood, the flowers, grass and birds on the Xiuqiu were more vivid than before. After 81 days, the Xiuqiu which was filled with A Xiu’s love for A Di and soaked in A Xiu’s blood was completed.
She bribed the warden of the prison with all of her money which came from selling her jewellery and deposits from house. Together with her families, she visited A Di, whom she missed day and night during his stay in the cold and dark prison. When she saw A Di was tortured, she was so desperate that she decided to hung the Xiuqiu around A Di’s neck.
At this point, a miraculous light flashed. A Xiu, A Di and her families disappeared. When they woke up, they found themselves at a beautiful and rich land at the foot of a mountain, far away from the villains. Later, A Di and A Xiu got married and they gave birth to one boy and one girl. And so they lived happily together.


Xiuqiu, also known as silk ball orembroideryball, is a traditional handcraft made by the Zhuang ethnic group in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and passed widely through generations. Xiuqiu is made of silk cloth, traditionally in three colors: red, yellow and green, and has twelve connected petals. Each petal represents a month and has an image of flowers, plants, or birds.

The silk balls are sewn by young girls and maight be shaped like a crescent, a fish, a duck or the usual round, square and octagon. Each silk ball generally has a diameter of 6 cm (2.36 inches) with grains or sand inside. Each ball usually weighs about 0.22 - 0.33 pound or 2 - 3 liangs in Chinese unit. On the outside, the balls usually have flowery patterns with a colored cord on the top and fringes on the bottom. These fine 'xiu qiu' symbolize the beauty and wisdom of the girls.

pao xiuqiu1

In Chinese, “pao” means “to toss”. In ancient times, Xiuqiu was used to symbolize love. If a girl handmade the embroidery ball and gave it to a boy-it meant that she had given her heart to him. If a girl was seeking her destined life partner, she would toss the ball high where a bunch of boys were. The boy who caught the Xiuqiu would become the future husband. Nowadays, tossing the Xiuqiu is a traditional game at festivals, marking the blooming season or harvest time.
There are various methods of playing this game. One way is for two teams, usually, boys versus girls, tossing the silk balls at each other hoping that the opposing team would drop the ball. If the ball drops, the losing side will be required to sing or perform in other ways as a forfeit.
One way goes like this: the boys' team and the girl's team each appoint a judge, and begin to throw the balls to the opposing side. If the ball is dropped, the losing side will be required to sing or perform in other ways as a forfeit.
In another game, a 10-meter-high (32.8-foot-high) pole is erected with a board at the top, through which a hole with a diameter of 60 centimetres (23.6 inches) is cut. Two teams of boys and girls stand beside the pole, facing one another and throw 'xiu qiu'. The players toss the colored balls by means of the attached cords so that with accuracy, the ball will go through the hole. The winners are the team that throws 'xiu qiu' throughout the hole the most times.
Another version of game: Each team appoints a judge and then begins to throw the balls to the opposite side trying to make it into the basket attached to the back. If a ball is dropped, then the losing side must perform in some way as a forfeit.

Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

The skilled craft, rough style, colorful shades and harmonious composition of Xiuqiu not only carry deep historical memories of the Zhuang people but also embody the unique aesthetic attitudes and unadorned ethnic beliefs of the Zhuang People.
To this day, whenever the mid-autumn night comes around, in some villages of the Zhuang ethnic group in Guangxi, you can hear the melodious songs and fife playing on the banks, in the mountains, in the trees and on the lawns. Pair of lovers are coming and going among the bamboo forests and the woods. From time to time, delicate Xiuqius are sweeping.

Sources of information :

Han Min, Kawai Hironao (red.), Family, Ethnicity and State in Chinese Culture Under the Impact of Globalization, Bridge 21, USA, 1 edition (December 12, 2017)


Porok-Pamin Sinam (Arunachal Pradesch, India)

Name of sport (game): Porok - Pamin Sinam
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Arunachal Pradesh, India


Porok - Pamin Sinam or Cock - fighting
The contestant has to hold one leg in his hand and the other hand on his shoulder and has one leg to hop on and achieve his objective of pushing his opponent out of the circle. Any of the two players who falls to the ground or loses his hold on his leg or steps out of the circle is disqualified.


Oodarich (Kyrgyzstan)

Name of sport (game): Oodarich
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):


Pasola (Sumba, Indonesia)

Name of sport (game): Pasola
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Sumba, Indonesia

Sources of information :



Psarani pata (India)

Name of sport (game): Psarani pata
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):


Ou-chou (China)

Name of sport (game): Ou-chou
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):


Pa Qua (China)

Name of sport (game): Pa Qua
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):



A form of Daoist boxing meaning "eight diagram palm," referring to the eight trigrams symbols used as the basis of the Chinese classic, I-Chang (Book of Changes), reflects the constant change and intuition central to pa qua practice.
Although pa qua's origin is unknown, history recounts that the discipline was taught to Tung Hai ch'uan (1798-1879) around 1820 by an unnamed Taoist priest in Kaingsu province who found Tung nearly dead from starvation and nursed him back to health. Later Tung moved to Peking and became quite well know for his boxing skills. There he was challenged by another famous boxer, Kua Yun-Shen, from a rival style, Hsing-i (divine hand) that was known for its direct and powerful linear style. The match lasted three days. During the first two neither could gain advantage. Both were equally matched. But on the third day Tung took the offensive and ended up defeating his challenger. The two ended up as friends and vowed thereafter to teach the two styles together. Thus, even today when you find one system, the other is often taught along with it. Both are classified as internal disciplines that develop and utilize internal energy of Ki (chi in China). Both disciplines share the concept that the mind unites actions and thought into one. Thus training the mind allows transformation of the internal to the external technique. Pa qua is classified as an internal system along with Hsing-i and tai chi chuan.


Pa Qua's central exercise is walking in a circular pattern with careful foot and body postures. But this should not be confused with the discipline's strategy. Many assume that a pa qua practitioner circles an opponent looking for an opening, but the circularity instead refers to use of circular movement - shifting, adjusting and turning as a method of gaining advantage to the side or behind. Opponents attacks are avoided, redirected, dissolved, lead or unbalanced. This allows for short, powerful counters. Defenders sometimes flow around an opponent's center, sometimes they enter into the center. They are always spinning, unbalancing and controlling -- with constant counterattacks of sticking, open hand attacks, elbows, striking palms - always avoiding any fixed position or direct resistance. The effect is to create circular energy and power within circular movement of the opponent - a method reminiscent in strategy to aikido.

Pacu Jawi (Indonesia)

Name of sport (game): Pacu Jawi
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Pacu Jawi is the cultural tradition of Tanah Datar Nagari in West Sumatra, Pacu Jawi can only be seen in the Tanah Datar District.
Place of the race is changeable and takes place within several villages (nagari) of Tanah Datar. Traditionally, the tournament hosts are the villages of four Tanah Datar districts: Sungai Tarab, Pariangan, Lima Kaum and Rambatan. These four districts consist of 26 nagari (2014) at altitude between 550-700 meters (1800-2300 feet), having rice fields of 96.16 square kilometers (37.13 square miles) and more than 12,000 cattle (data from 2012).


The Pacu Jawi culture was initiated hundreds of years ago as a form of gratitude to people after the rice harvest.
Traditionally, the race can only take place where the altitude is 2,891 m where Marapi mountain is visible - allegedly the place of origin of the Minangkabau people living in West Sumatra. The local population is mainly engaged in agriculture, hence the race takes place on the rice fields when are empty after harvest, and are not yet used before the next crop.


Despite the name Pacu Jawi (literally 'bull race' or 'cow race' in Minangkabau), this is not a direct competition between animals. Each rider chooses his two best cows for the "team". Then he puts on a harness (ropes) and stands on a wooden plow connecting them, which has two functions. First of all, it creates a platform, unstable and not very comfortable, for a daredevil participating in the race. Secondly, it prevents animals from separating on the route. Animals are usually bulls between the ages of 2 and 13 whose run in pairs.

Before the start signal sounds, the animals are held by several men so that the rider can be sure that at least for the first few meters they will run straight. The START command for bulls is to pull the tails by a player or bite those tails. Players do not use lashes.
The animals cross a muddy track on the rice field. Races take place at various track lengths, including about 60 meters (200 feet), 100 meters (330 feet) or 250 meters (820 feet). The track can be covered up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) of mud.
The man behind them must cling to their tails to stay in the race and not fall off the team. Some animals run straight, others go off the track. So if the audience is not fast enough, then it comes in contact with cows or at least exposed to mud splashes.

Not everyone is able to take part in the competition because participants need continuous training, in Pacu not only the condition of the bulls is important, but also the fitness of the player himself. It is not easy to control running animals, although the team makes steering a little easier, even with high skills, from time to time the athlete falls into a mud puddle. In order to facilitate the control of two speeding animals, the competitor should assume a position similar to packthread. It is not difficult to guess that in the face of mud spurting everywhere, high speed, angry animals kept by the tails and unstable skids this task is extremely difficult.

Although it is called a "race", the bulls do not compete directly with each other and no formal winner is announced. Instead, viewers rate bulls based on their running (mainly speed and ability to run straight).
The biggest reward for the winner, in addition to recognition from the audience, is that the value of his animal's increases. A strong cow costs 5 to 7 million Indonesian rupees in Sumatra. For a racing cow that was successful in Pacu Jawi, its owner can demand up to six times more.

During the event, cattle that do not compete are kept in a separate area, often near the finish line. It is said that their presence encourages racing bulls to run faster into the herd.

Current status:

Jawi Pacu competitions take place on the watery (muddy) rice fields, this tradition is still maintained and nurtured by the Tanah Datar community until now.
In the past, the event took place only twice a year, but the shortening of the rice harvest cycle allowed more frequent organization of Pacu Jawi competitions. Until 2013, one of the nagari hosted the competition every two months, each of which consisted of four events on Wednesdays or Saturdays. Currently Pacu Jawi races are a major attraction for local communities. They are so popular that individual provinces must fight for the rights to organize these races. The occupations themselves are often accompanied by fairs and ethnic music concerts.

The race takes place in parallel with the village festival (Minangkabau: alek nagari) called Alek Pacu Jawi ("bull racing festival"). Over the years, the festivities included processions of cattle dressed in suntiangi (traditional Minangkabau headgear), performances of traditional music such as Gendang tasa and talempong pacik, fairs and traditional games such as panjat pinang (fat pole) and kite competitions. In the past, all the costs were borne by the villagers, but now the organization of the competition and the festival is handled by the Tourism Office of Tanah Datar.

Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

Every time the harvest season ends, the local people organize this cultural attraction. The main goal is entertainment and relaxation until the fields are ready to be sown again.
Currently, Pacu Jawi racing is a major tourist attraction of the region, and not only villages organizing competitions are involved in its organization, but also public and private organizations.


Pacu jawi -

Sources of information :

Rita Nraiswari, Febrianti, Gilang Mustika Ramdani, Fully Syafi, Atraksi Budaya Nusantara, Edisi Ebook Mei, 2013
Purnama Suzanti, Daya tarik Pacu Jawi sebagai atraksi wisata budaya di Kabupaten Tanah Datar, [in] Jurnal Nasional Pariwisata, Yogyakarta: Tourism Study Center, Gadjah Mada University, nr 6 (1): 1–7, 2014.








Pencak Silat (Brunei Darssalam, Indonesia)

Name of sport (game): Pencak Silat
Sources of information :



Qianghuapao (China)

Name of sport (game): Qianghuapao (China)

Firework-snatching, known in China as Qianghuapao, is a traditional sport of many ethnic groups including the Zhuang, Miao and Dong. The traditional way of playing is to launch a firework into the air and young men compete to get it. The arena could be any places, even ponds, cliffs, and so it is called a "game of brave guys". But the game has been improved into a new style, similar to American football, spanning 40 minutes in two 20-minute halves, with a ten minute break. The firework has been replaced by safer rubber disc with a diameter of 15 cm.


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