Taipei Youth Folk Sports Group’s Spectacular Performance Blew Houstonian Minds

Traditional Chinese folk games like shuttlecock kicking, Chinese yoyo spinning, and rope skipping have gained their popularity through the generations among Chinese communities worldwide. Thanks to the Government’s promotional efforts, these folk games liven up students’ recesses between classes and their after school hours in primary and secondary schools in Taiwan.

Folk games were later incorporated with athletic activities both inside and outside of classrooms throughout the country. This contributed to the evolution of folk game toys manufacturing, as well as players’ creativity. Over the years, basic techniques have been developed into elaborate performances executed by individuals, pairs, or groups.

Since 1988, winners of Chinese folk sports competitions from elementary and intermediate schools in Taipei City have been teamed up as the Taipei Youth Folk Sports Group to troupe in different cities around the world annually. This year, 26 skillful students, aged 12 to 14, were selected to perform in five cities in the United States, including Houston. These children have been in constant practice throughout extracurricular activities, school breaks, and vacations, including a one-month intensive training period before the tour. Along with those popular folk sports, the performance also includes folk music and dance, Chinese martial arts and folk games, and Taiwanese aboriginal culture and Hakka folklore, making it one of the most anticipated folk festivals in the international community.

Starting this February, the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston has been working to find the most suitable venue for the show and has been organizing the event to provide a one of a kind experience for people living in the Greater Houston Area. Fort Bend County Judge Robert Herbert attended the event and delivered Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s welcomed greetings and the Fort Bend County Proclamation of appreciation for the group. A half-thousand people crowded the Grant Ballroom of the Safari Texas Ranch the night of July 24th, and the success of the performance was evident when it received a standing ovation. 

PHOTO: Louis M. Huang, Director General of TECO in Houston; Robert Herbert, Fort Bend County Judge; and Chih-Min Tang, Commissioner of Taipei Education Department (standing in the back 7th, 10th and 11th from the right respectively) pose with the Folk Sports Group

July 29, 2015
by Isabelle Chen
Education Division
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston