Tai Chi as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

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Tai Chi as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Postby gching » Mon Dec 20, 2021 12:14 pm

This is something that Tai Chi has been working towards for years. It came to fruition last year during the pandemic so there wasn't much celebration.
Practitioners perform tai chi in New York to celebrate heritage status
By Xinhua
Published: Dec 20, 2021 06:13 PM Updated: Dec 20, 2021 06:06 PM

A group of practitioners on Friday demonstrated tai chi, a kind of traditional Chinese martial arts, at Times Square in New York on the occasion of the first anniversary of its listing as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO.

Led by Chen Sitan, a world martial arts champion, the group of practitioners caught the attention of tourists and passersby. Several pedestrians even joined the performance.

Tai chi is both a treasure and symbol of Chinese culture as well as a very good fitness practice for mankind, said Chen.

"Practicing tai chi can make you feel relaxed and at peace while enjoying the benefits of a slow-paced life," Chen told the Xinhua News Agency.

Tai chi could become as fashionable as yoga and more efforts should be made to promote it around the world, said Chen, who now teaches tai chi classes on Long Island after retiring from his athletic career.

"I was introduced to tai chi many years ago... I cannot live without having tai chi in my life anymore. It's a wonderful form," said Olivia Rosenkrantz, a New Yorker who used to be a dancer and has practiced tai chi for quite a few years.

"It allows me to move my body fully. It does not hurt the way dance used to hurt. I love to practice it outside in a park and I love the people I meet through tai chi," Rosenkrantz said.

Tai chi allows bringing the mind and the body together and everything in tai chi helps human beings to be better and healthier people, said Rosenkrantz.

An introductory video on tai chi was played at Times Square throughout Friday.

The event was organized by the Sino-American Friendship Association from New York City and the Culture and Tourism Department of Henan Province of China.

Tai chi not only conveys China's unique humanistic feelings and fitness philosophy, but also allows Americans to better understand Chinese culture and makes positive contributions to cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and the United States, said Li Li, executive vice president of the Sino-American Friendship Association on Friday.

Tai chi 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 practitioners.

In December 2020, the centuries-old martial art was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Chinese Martial Art, Taijiquan, Marks First Anniversary As UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage In Times Square
Henan Cultural and Tourism
Dec 17, 2021, 10:00 ET

NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The ancient, elegant Chinese martial art of Taijiquan today marked the first anniversary of its listing as a UNESCO world intangible cultural heritage, with a celebration in Times Square, New York City.

The Sino-American Friendship Association and Henan jointly held a Taijiquan event at Times Square in New York, showcasing the culture on the famous Disney LED giant billboard throughout the day.

A big crowd of Taijiquan experts and enthusiasts from the greater New York area also gathered live to practice their graceful Taiji movements in front of the global audience at the crossroads of the world in Times Square.

Taijiquan, also known as Chinese Tai Chi, is one of the best exercises ever practiced in human history. Chen-style Taijiquan is originally from Chenjiagou in the Henan province of China, which is wildly recognized as one of the cradles of Chinese civilization.

Rigid and flexible, Tai Chi demonstrates the culture of conveying its unique Chinese humanistic philosophy and practice to health and wellness. Today, Tai Chi training centers are in over 150 countries and regions, and around 300 million people around the world practice Taijiquan actively.

Along with the famous Shaolin Kungfu, Taijiquan is another popular formation of Chinese martial arts. Both originated in Henan and are considered cultural icons for Henan and China. Every year, tourists from all over the world visit Henan to experience its distinctive Kungfu culture and the tourism industry of Henan continues to flourish, thanks to this rich history and folk culture.

Henan keeps expending its Taijiquan and Shaolin culture on a global scale. Based in Mount Song Shaolin Temple and Chenjiagou, Henan plans to host the International Shaolin Kungfu Festival and Taijiquan Exchange Competition. Henan Taijiquan College, Taijiquan Cultural Inheritance and Innovation Center are also under development and the "Impression of Taiji," is a recent project to build Henan as the world capital of Kungfu and the Taiji Holy Land.

The other world cultural heritage sites, such as Longmen Grottoes and Yin Xu are also in Henan. You can easily touch ancient Chinese culture that dates back thousands of years, even the bricks and tiles from the Qin and Han Dynasties. For more information see Henan Cultural and Tourism.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 47122.html
Gene Ching
YMAA Staff Writer & Publicist
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