Photo: U-10 boys from Jinjiacao having fun at the beach courts.
15 nations were represented at Generation Handball this year, and several teams flew all the way from China to Viborg to join the FUN at Generation Handball.
One of the Chinese teams that participated at Generation Handball were the U-10 boys from Jinjiacao Primary School in Ningbo, China. Jinjiacao also participated in Generation Handball in 2016, when their U-12 boys competed. The experience in 2016 was so good that the school decided to send a team again this year, and of course, we talked to the school’s vice principal mr. Hu about his and the handball players’ thoughts about Generation Handball.
Mr. Hu said: “What else can we say? We are back this year because it is a wonderful experience!”
The U-12 boys who participated last year did a great job and made it far in the tournament. But for this year’s U-10 boys participants, making it far in the tournament was not the main priority.
“We think that the atmosphere at Generation Handball is really good, and we enjoy the many activities at the festival site as well as sharing our interest in handball with other teams. It is not important if we win or not, more so that we have fun and play against other nations,” said Mr. Hu, who explained that the team at the time of our talk had played against teams from the Faroe Islands and Germany.
Mr. Hu’s words are perfectly on par with the mindset of Generation Handball. It’s important to include FUN, FIGHT, FRIENDSHIP.
As an U-10 player, the trip to Denmark may feel long and unsafe with challenging cultural and linguistic differences. However, the team from Jinjiacao was not phased by that.
“The boys are doing really well and are having fun while here. They enjoy getting to experience cultural differences in a safe environment”, said Mr. Hu.
Across different cultures
Cultural exchange is one of the many key aspects to Generation Handball. During the week of Generation Handball, it seemed that all the teams grasped the opportunity to experience different cultures. Not even difficulties communicating could hold them back as hand gestures and a good portion of focus made anything possible for example when the kids suddenly arranged friendly games at the beach courts.
Cultural differences can be many things – including the difference in food culture, but the Chinese team of course took up the gauntlet. However, when lunch on Wednesday included soup and noodles, the team was happy.
“The food here is different from what we usually eat. Today, we had soup and noodles, and it reminded us of our food from China. We do though also understand that the food in Denmark is not the same as in China, and we enjoy trying new food and experiencing a different food culture. We bought some fruit and snacks for the kids to eat during the day so that they are sure to have some food and familiarity while here” said Mr. Hu.
Lastly, the vice principal ensured that the team would try to come back to Viborg for Generation Handball 2018 – one thing that we of course highly appreciate:
“We are definitely going to recommend Generation Handball to other teams in China. Our team is pretty well known in China, and if you look up Generation Handball and China on Baidu (Chinese Google, ed.), you will see articles about us being here. We will do whatever we can to spread the word about Generation Handball,” concluded Mr. Hu.