Sports of Korean Ethnic Group

Swinging, Springboard Jumping & Heel-and-Toe Walking Race with an Urn on the Head

The Korean is a nationality that is fond of sports activities. Football, wrestling, skating, swinging and foot race and so on are mass sports activities. There are also some games and entertainment activities participated only by women, such as swinging, springboard jumping and heel-and-toe walking race with an urn on the head, etc.

The Korean swing is also called “Game of Half a Celestial Being “. The facility is rather simple, with the ropes of the swing fastened crosswise on twigs of tall trees in the past. Now there is special-purpose frame for swinging made of wood or iron tubes with two ropes fastened to the crossbeams and a board fastened below for pedaling. The Korean swings include those for a single person and those for two persons. There are four ways of determining who is the champion: The first way is to establish two poles at the front of the swing frame, fasten crosswise a rope with a small bell hung on it to the frame. The one who makes the bell ring the most times wins. The second way is to gradually raise the rope with a small bell. The one who makes the bell hung on the highest rope ring is the winner. The third way is to fasten a rope under the pedal. The one who draws back the longest rope is the champion. And the forth way is to use the leaves or flowers in the trees at the front of the swing frame a target. The one who touches them with feet or bites them with his mouth wins this game. Swinging requires physical strength, techniques, and what’s more important, the spirit of being courageous. It fully embodies the refined and brave character of the Korean women.       

Springboard jumping also has a long history. There is a Korean folk saying: ” Girls who didn’t jump the springboard will endure difficult labor”. Hence, this activity is attached great importance and fondness. The popular kind of springboard is 5.5 meters long, 44 centimeters or so wide and 5 to 6 centimeters thick. There is a board pad erected in the middle of the springboard that is 30 centimeters high. In the game, each team has two persons, who stand at the two ends of the springboard, and make use of the rebounding force of the board to cause herself and the other one to bounce in the air upwards and downwards respectively and suddenly. Motions of jumping usually have vertical jumping, jumping with one’s knees bent, spinning jumping, jumping like a pair of scissors, and so on. There are two ways of participating: one is to compete according to the height. Usually one clew is put at two ends of the springboard. Draw out the thrum and tie it onto the feet wrists of the participators. Finally, the one who draws out the longest thread wins. The other way is comprehensive assessment, which depends on the height as well as the movements, the poses, and the artifice in the air. Hence, the one who can carry out thrilling, exceedingly difficult yet elegant movements such as flip jumping, jumping vine rings, wield wreaths, brandish colored strips and so on will always receive everybody’s admiration, and win the game.

Foot race with an urn on the head is directly rooted in productive labor. The way of competing: the participator walks with a jar or pot filled with water or rice of the same weight, and he cannot support the jar or pot with his hand. The one who first reaches the destination without any water splashed is the winner.