Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dragon Boat Race - Taipei City 2013

Morning Practice

Dragons Boats... I knew nothing of them before moving to Taiwan but, since early March, have learned so much.    

For the past few months, I have been rowing a 20-person canoe-like-boat with my teammates in preparation for the dragon boat race, a tradition that has been practiced in parts of Asia for decades; specifically in Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore.  The Dragon Boat Festival, takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month of every year; AKA June 5th.

 In Taiwan, people celebrate by consuming rice dumplings, drinking wine, lighting a multitude of fireworks and racing dragon boats.

I happened upon joining my team, Team MAX, while out on the town.  I ran into a friend, who told me he was out with his dragon boat team. I then introduced myself to the team and let them know I would be at the next practice.  Everyone was very welcoming, but a bit skeptical that I would show up.  Practices are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6:30 am, and Saturdays and Sundays at 8:45 am.  

Team MAX is compromised of 60+ people and three boats. There is a women's team, a men's team, and a co-ed team. The women's team won first place for the Taipei race last year.  Team MAX has been together for five years, the coach is Japanese, and there are 6+ different languages spoken between all of us including: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, German and English.

The race is typically 500 meters long, and there can be between 16-20 people rowing. Besides the people rowing, there is a drummer and a flag catcher in the front, and a steerer in the back.

 I was on the women's team and we won third place in Taipei City! 

Race! (I am the second on the left)

Team Max - Pretty Ladies!

Women's Boat after the race.

And... a video of our race!

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