With music and dancing, the Chinese community in Panama prepares to wake the dragon. A few touches of paint are enough to embellish the dragon boats that will ply the waters in fierce competition.
The Dragon Boat Race is an aquatic sports competition featuring 12 men’s, women’s and mixed teams, and has been organized by the Chinese Cultural Center for more than 150 years to celebrate China’s presence in Panama.
(SOUNDBITE, Spanish) Fermin Tomas Chang, President of the Chinese Cultural Center in Panama
“We are commemorating 162 years of China’s presence in Panama. And especially since the National Assembly has decreed March 30 to be the day of Chinese ethnicity, we have timed this event to coincide with the monthly celebration.”
Ten rowers, a drummer who sets the pace with his drum, and a helmsman, bring the dragon to life to achieve their goal in a competitive event certified by the International Dragon Boat Federation.