If you are ever in China and you see a group gathered in the park, or an area near a store, you may ask yourself what they are doing. Well, chances are they are enjoying some company, and playing “Xiangqi.” Apparently, a nice, quiet, shady area in a park works very well for accomplishing fellowship and a little friendly matching of wits. As you can tell form the picture below, it is a warm day, but that doesn’t deter these gentlemen.
Xiangqi is also called Chinese Chess. The pieces have different markings on them, indicating their status. I have never played Xiangqi. I can’t give you the rules, but I do know there are certain ways each piece can move and that your goal is to conquer the opposing army. If you are interested in learning more about the game, I am sure a Google search would reveal many more details than I am equipped to offer.
You won’t see many people sitting in the direct sun in China, playing cards or Xiangqi, because many Chinese want to keep their skin out of the sun. I have seen taxi drivers wear a glove on their left hand, if they enjoy leaving their hand outside the window. I have also seen people riding bikes with very large sun visors to keep their faces out of the sun. Probably the most common measure taken to protect the skin from the sun is an umbrella. Yes, you need to watch out for them when you are in a crowd or you could be bumped in the face by one!