Parkour eases divisions in China

Parkour eases divisions in China

“In Chinaโ€™s far-western province of Xinjiang, Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese mix on the street daily but largely lead separate lives. Many Uighurs resent Beijingโ€™s rule, as well as government efforts to fold them into the โ€œbig Chinese family.โ€

But amid Xinjiangโ€™s tense ethnic divisions, friendships are developing โ€“ gingerly โ€“ among some Uighurs and Chinese. Appreciation for food and music brings the two groups together. So does a love of sports.

In many cities of Xinjiang, the latest outdoors craze is parkour โ€“ a training regimen that started in France and has gone viral worldwide. Imagine groups of young people jumping, vaulting and flipping in the air, often using whatever structures they can find โ€“ ranging from park benches to rooftops.”

Every day, we see parkour bringing very different people together. We see people from very different walks of life, who might never have made eye contact on the street, become the best of friends.

This is a little more dramatic – read the full story here of how the simple act of training together is helping others to overcome ancient and powerful tensions.