Akmal poses with a yuanxiao shaped like Bing Dwen Dwen, mascot of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. [Photo provided to ezhejiang.gov.cn]
A cultural activity held by Wencheng county in Wenzhou for the Lantern Festival and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Feb 14 has stirred up interest in Akmal, a Tajikistani online influencer who is always willing to share his experiences in China.
Though a pro at double-board skiing and skating, Akmal found snowboarding surprisingly difficult when he debuted at a snowboarding show at a local indoor ski resort.
"It was hard but quite exciting," Akmal said. "It reminded me of Gu Ailing's Winter Olympic maiden show a few days ago, when she gambled on a left double cork 1620 jump that she'd never done in competition before. Her daringness was very admirable."
Akmal also learned to make yuanxiao, or glutinous rice balls, and festive lanterns in the shape of Bing Dwen Dwen, the mascot of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, who is no doubt the most popular cartoon character at the moment.
Though he failed to make a decent Bing Dwen Dwen yuanxiao and lanterns on his own, Akmal said he enjoyed the process of making them and that experiencing various Chinese folk customs was really fun. He was thrilled to receive a paper-cutting created by artist Wu Fangfang in the shape of Bing Dwen Dwen.
"I hope the traditional Chinese festival can bring good luck to all the athletes," Akmal said.
Akmal tries out snowboarding. [Photo provided to ezhejiang.gov.cn]