Bullfight feast goes viral online after 'Village BA'
Activities shed light on path of rural revitalization: expert
Published: Apr 02, 2023 11:10 PM
A bullfight feast in Longli, Southwest China's Guizhou Province on February 24, 2023. Photo: VCG

A bullfight match in Longli, Southwest China's Guizhou Province on February 24, 2023. Photo: VCG

After the grassroots "Village Basket Association" in Southwest China's Guizhou Province swept the internet last week, a bullfight feast from the same province gained fame as an equivalent phenomenon, shedding light on China's creative push to advance rural revitalization. 

Dubbed by netizens as the "Guizhou Super Bowl," the bullfight held on Friday in Congjiang county of Guizhou saw more than 20,000 villagers crowded around in the open air to cheer and share the moments of excitement. 

The bullfight friendship match is not held every year, but often when locals celebrate ethnic minority festivals, villagers living nearby will come to the feast, a resident surnamed Wang said in a video that went viral on the internet during the weekend. 

Also originating from a rural area of Guizhou, the renowned "Village Basket Association," shortened as "Village BA," made a splash recently, with fragments of the matches widely seen on Chinese social media platforms. 

The bullfight feast or the "Village BA" brings joy to locals, and the folk sports, village and ethnic minority culture were also amplified through the lenses of cameras on the internet, leading people to rethink the appealing path for the country's rural revitalization. 

Observers said the bullfight and "Village BA" phenomena highlight the important role of folk sports when rural regions seek  revitalization. 

"It is a path that integrates local traditional culture, sports and tourism. Such integration is a positive attempt for the path of rural revitalization," He Xuefeng, director of the China Rural Governance Research Center at Wuhan University, told the Global Times.

The four "Village BA" matches in three days drew audiences of 181,900 people and achieved total revenue of 55.16 million yuan ($8 million), said Yang Jiahua, an official from the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau of Qiandongnan Prefecture in Guizhou.

"Driven by the 'Village BA,' tourists across the country came to experience local scenic spots, taste local food and explore traditional hand-made products," a staffer of a local scenery spot in Taijiang county surnamed Liu told the Global Times.

Official data showed Guizhou Province has carried out more than 5,000 basketball games of "Village BA" so far, covering more than 2,600 villages and towns, effectively driving the development of local tourism, culture and the economy.

Besides the form of integrating sports with tourism, villages in East China's Zhejiang Province have pursued rural revitalization through prompting its local charm. A village called Dachen gained fame for being the birthplace of village songs and another village called Yuetai is known for hosting the spring festival gala. 

Their success comes from the integration of local culture and tourism. "The original value of local culture has been highlighted and also benefited both villagers and participants," a commentary written by the publicity department of Zhejiang Province reads.

For a revitalized countryside, no large-scale return to poverty is a bottom line that must be guaranteed. The focus ahead will be on promoting industries and employment to help areas and people that have just shaken off poverty to build their own growth momentum, the Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Liu Huanxin, head of the National Rural Revitalization Administration.