BackSociety » Health » [Video] Kicking and Screaming: Vietnam's Centuries-Old Love of Đá Cầu

[Video] Kicking and Screaming: Vietnam's Centuries-Old Love of Đá Cầu

Originally a game played by ancient soldiers to let off steam, in today’s Vietnam, đá cầu, or foot badminton, is practiced by locals from all walks of life.

Đá cầu has its roots in ancient China. The age-old game can be boiled down to keeping the cầu – shuttlecock – in the air as long as possible, whether in a group of players or by oneself. As simple as the rules are, this is an addictive activity widely enjoyed by Vietnamese urbanites in local public areas.

The general Vietnamese public is not a sporty bunch by any means, but those who are actually into sports, athleticism is a serious part of their life. Nowadays, đá cầu aficionados have to compete with traditional badminton, tai chi, hoverboards and soccer players for the country’s limited public space, according to TODAY Online.

“I do play football, but I find đá cầu more interesting,” Tuan Anh, the leader of a 50-member foot badminton group in Hanoi, shared with the news source.

In earlier times, Vietnamese emperors promoted đá cầu among soldiers as a form of exercise and stress relief during training sessions. Outside of the royal palace, commoners also enjoyed kicking shuttlecocks during harvest festivals and New Year hangouts.

Fast forward to the present day, when many are simply drawn to the sport’s casual nature and team spirit. Some are just looking for a way to unwind with after a hard day of work.

Đá cầu is a team game. People play in clubs and teams, so it encourages teamwork and cooperation,” 24-year-old Nguyen Bich Hien told TODAY. “Going to the gym or walking, you have no companions, so it’s not as much fun.”

Video via TODAY Online.

[Photo via TODAY Online]

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