Beijing, Hulusi and Diabolo


Every afternoon Mrs. Qin Fengling goes to the Ge Yuan park to play Hulusi for an hour. After that she stays to do some physical exercises.


There are many trainings and workshops for learning how to play the Hulusi, Mrs. Qin Fengling did not attend any. Instead, she bought a book on how to play Hulusi and taught herself.


Listen to Mrs. Qin playing (in the background you can hear the sound of a diabolo and the shutter of my camera):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Many retired Beijingers exercise in parks by playing with Diabolos. It’s a lively view and the sound carries far.


The man we meet after talking to Mrs. Qin, plays two kinds of diabolo, both with only one bowl (usually a diabolo has two bowls which makes it easier to keep them in balance). He uses two sets of sticks; short ones and longer ones. He says that it is more difficult to play with the longer sticks, because after holding the sticks for a few minutes your hands start feeling sour and lack the strength.


Every morning there are many older men playing diabolos in the woods of Ge Yuan park as an exercise.


He invites us to join him in playing diabolos and instructs us how to play: circle the rope between the sticks three times around the diabolo, then raise the diabolo with the sticks and move the sticks to get the diabolo in balance. After that, circle the rope counter-clockwise once and keep one circle of rope around the diabolo. Keep moving the sticks with both hands by turns. If the diabolo can make a resonant sound, it means you are playing fine.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *