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September 26, 2020

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Mastering traditional folk game of diabolo

DONG Shulin started to play the traditional folk game of diabolo in Beijing in 2003. The game involves throwing and catching a spinning top by moving a cord fastened to two sticks.

There are more than 70 diabolos in the 66-year-old’s home. Some of the diabolos were purchased and others were homemade, especially the big ones with a diameter of over 60 centimeters.

Dong is good at playing with the big diabolos. His wife Mei Yongpei and 9-year-old granddaughter Dong Yutong are also fond of the game.

“Playing with big ones required skills and strength, and I have both,” said Dong Shulin. “When performing on stage, you won’t get a second chance.”

In 2011, Dong was elected vice chairman of the Beijing Diabolo Association. It is now his responsibility to teach and perform diabolo playing, in order to promote the game.

Dong and his wife are licensed “instructors of social sports” and are often invited with other diabolo players to middle schools and residential compounds to teach people to play.

Dong believes playing diabolo is a good way of keeping fit.

“Playing diabolo will not cost you much money or time, and it is a whole-body movement game,” Dong said. “Everyone could try this, not only the seniors, but also young people.”


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