Across China: Chinese villagers take a fancy to shaping-up classes

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-29 15:48:46|Editor: mingmei
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JINAN, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Despite the bitter wind blowing through the winter evenings, a group of villagers in eastern China's Shandong Province continued to pursue their passion for getting fit.

Around 6 p.m., Tang Ou and other villagers made their way to a physique class at the cultural hall of Daibei Village, Boshan District of the city of Zibo, with their workout mats.

Resting her arms on her hips and lowering one knee to the ground at a time, Tang started warming up before class.

After a few minutes, the room was filled with more than 40 people.

The village launched the fitness class in June 2018. Since then, keeping fit and bodybuilding have become a new trend among the villagers.

Tang works at a carton plant in Daibei Village. "I used to think of joining a fitness club, but the nearest one was 15 km away from our village."

Thanks to the village's new measures to improve people's quality of life, women who aspire to have nice figures can work out without having to travel to far-off urban districts.

Last summer when they heard the news of opening fitness classes twice a week in the village, more than 100 villagers came to register. Even residents of the neighboring villages rushed to attend the classes.

"I have not expected that the body shaping classes are so popular in the rural areas," said Gao Xi, the fitness instructor.

Although each person has to pay 50 yuan (about 7.1 U.S. dollars) a month for eight classes, their passion for the classes continues to rise. The classes are not just for women. Men in the village are also taking part.

In the second half of 2017, Daibei Village built the cultural hall covering over 4,000 square meters to offer a venue for performances and other cultural activities.

Apart from the workout classes, the village has also launched a series of cultural activities such as chorus contests, painting and calligraphy classes to enrich the villagers' lives.

China's rural revitalization strategy is helping revamp the countryside. The strategy was first put forward during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2017 and has been repeatedly stressed by the Chinese leadership since then.

The strategy aims to achieve basic modernization of agriculture and rural areas by 2035, and the grand goal of a strong agricultural industry, beautiful countryside and well-off farmers by 2050.

"To promote rural revitalization through the means of cultural revitalization has enhanced the cohesion of the village and people's sense of happiness and achievement," said Guo Zhanxian, head of the Yuanquan Township in Boshan District.