Ethnic dance tailored for student workout in Dehong

The news updated on June 28, 2019. 

A bird’s-eye view of the elementary school in Dehong

Hundreds of elementary school students rushed out of classrooms and gathered at the playground of Yingpan Minzu Primary School on June 21.

The school is located in Mangshi city, the Dehong autonomous county of Dai and Jingpo minorities, western Yunnan province.  

Jingpo girls dance with flowers in their hands

This is the time of a day when pupils routinely practice their radio calisthenics. However, the way of practicing it here is never seen before. 

Wearing traditional Jingpo costumes, the students carried out dance-like gymnastic exercises with the companion of ethnic Munao music. 

Munao, which means “let dance together” in the local language, derives from the traditional Munao Song Festival of the Jingpo people.

It was selected as one of the first intangible cultural heritage projects of the nation in 2006.

“We introduced the Naomu to the school in 2014, and now most of our 369 students already know how to dance it,” said Shi Legan, the teacher who invented this form of exercise. 

Our students always have passion for the Munao dance, and we hope to pass this cultural tradition from one generation to another,” added him.

Boys dressing colorful gowns and hornbill-shaped headwear lead the dance

Female students lift silk fans above their heads

An aerial view of the playground

The teacher (middle) is lead students to do exercise

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