Community//

Dragons Sail Seas and Dance On Rivers!

Intimacies of the 2016 1st Nile River Boat Dragon Festival In Cairo, Egypt

(This photo was taken on the Corniche in Zamalek of Cairo, Egypt; Located across from the Gezira Street. Photograph By Timothy Ndoria; Edits By Lauren K. Clark) 

In Egyptian mythology, dragons never seemed to have found their place.  On the other hand, their fondness gravitated more towards European and Asiatic landscapes.  Though, once upon a blue moon, those legendary folktales migrate into near or distant lands.  It just so happened that Chinese dragons were curious about Nile mirrors.  The desire to view their reflections in them.  Extremely intrinsic, wouldn’t you agree?

(Photograph By Timothy Ndoria; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

The 1st Nile River Boat Dragon Festival in Cairo, Egypt (October 1, 2016) was one diverse in myriad hands.  Those hands. . .daring to tame the dragon on Nile waters. Organized by the China-Egypt Friendship Association, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the Governorate of Cairo, it was truly the coming together of distant lands.  Eastern Africa.  The United States.  China. Egypt. Others more. Who would be the masters in riding the dragon on a palette, called. . .the Nile?  Carving through the waters in a race against others, who have taken on the challenge.  Fellow teammates cheered on for those selected to partake in the race.  Chinese children frolicked about.  Entertaining themselves with puzzles and construction games.  Mothers looked on, enjoying the spectacle.  And so the games. . .began. 


(Photograph By Parent In Attendance; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph By Unknown Spectator; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Prior to, tests had been run.  Tryouts for those selected to be in the final round.  Only the strong would survive.  A showdown was on it’s way, and Egypt was part of the race.  Would Egypt’s sheroes and heroes hold their own in familiar territory? Or would the Chinese  team show themselves as the true masters of the dragon?  Such would be the final answer to the Chinese dragon race. 

And race, they did!  Many would interpret the final call as a victory tale between the foreign and the familiars.  Winners versus losers!


Yet, a more intricate painting was being captured.  The versatility of movement was at play.  And the representation of cultures was the personification of such.  The Chinese brought energy in the way of the dragon.  Egyptians channeled the Nile in the sonnet of Misr.  Canadians pushed through with the vigor of “Oh, Canada!” Americans drafted through with visions of “Red, White, and Blue.” East Africans rowed the tales of Nile country travels. 

(Photograph Taken By Unknown Attendee: Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Observing the race as a spectator, one envisions the boats as long paintbrushes.  Brushing themselves in elegant strokes of longitudinal decor.  Painting endless beauties of memory for each team.  Fantastical images of the legends and Super humans from their home country became moveable reflections.  Imaginations of those who decided to. . .dance with the Nile. The rhythms, styles, and movement patterns showcased a myriad of choreography for those who swim with rivers.  Chants and cheers were the background symphony, in the beauty of music being orchestrated.

(Photograph By Unknown Spectator; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

The picture laying before was more than just a. . .race!  Rather, it became a witness to the synchronicity of this diverse species called. . .human.  For those who chose to see, water was a healer. . .on that day!  


A healer and a painter. . .at that!


It had been my first time to witness such a sight.  Egypt happened to be a first for many adventures I would partake in.  A sight, smell. . .and feeling.  Having seen two former students of Chinese lands.  The winners were announced, and those placing teams managed to secure the triumphant victory of their nations.  

I guess that could be the final statement, if you prefer the voice of the ego–centered on domination and false systems of hierarchy, control, and power.  On the other hand, there is another conclusion, to have learned on this day.  And it definitely relates to elements of time, variation, and spacing.  

Water has the power to reveal the artistic patterns of human movement.  The ability to bring to life unseen visuals for those daring to spike through water’s delight.  An unspoken beauty in a rhythmic tale of nature’s love for the living. She’s often tickled, amazed, and curious in how we move through her.  Who would have ever thought that a “simple” dragon race would have displayed water’s smile?  Who could ever think that a foreign dance could move so nicely in unknown territory?  It’s quite peculiar, wouldn’t you agree?


Emerging from the balance of water, teams went to receive their prizes.  Trophies, photo opportunities. . .the whole nine.  Moving away to partake in the culinary delicacies of their countries.  Chinese play on Egyptian fields had come to an end.  And of course, a Maiden of Black America had made her presence known.  Interacting with participants came naturally, and curiosity of “the foreign” were entrapped in photography!

(Photograph By Unknown Spectator; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph and Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph By Unknown Spectator; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

Future meetings of Chinese play in Egyptian landscapes are imagined.  Spectators can only anticipate this event.  Until then, a lasting memory of the Chinese dance, and its performance by nations, unfamiliar with the dance, took place.  The dance floor of the Nile is in place.


All prepared to go, for the daring, who raced dragons. . .

(Photograph Taken By Unknown Spectator; Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph Taken By Unknown Spectator: Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

(Photograph Taken By Unknown Spectator: Edits By Lauren K. Clark)

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.