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Team Shaolin Vs. Foreign Visitors
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Kungfu is well known among China's Buddhist monks. The Shaolin Temple, situated in central China's Henan Province, has even long been regarded as birthplace of Chinese Kungfu for over 1,000 years.

But unlike Shaolin, monks in the Huayan Temple, one of the most famous Buddhist temples in west China's Chongqing Municipality, like soccer more than Kungfu.

A Buddhist monk soccer team of the Huayan Temple played an international match on Friday against a team made up of foreign teachers and students from nearby universities.

The monks, in red T-shirt and monks' pants, lost the match 5-1 in a soccer ground of Chongqing Foerign Languages School.

Monk Dehui, a team member of the monk team, said after the match that they like the game and they can play better if they have more time of training.

"Our team was formed on April 18, 2006, and we don't train much," he said. "But we like soccer. We are improving and I believe we can play better. In fact, this is the sixth match we have played with the foreigners."

Huayan Temple's chief monk Daojian said that soccer can help the monks get strong mentally and physically. "We need exercises to keep us strong and fit. The exercises can be either traditional or modern, like Kungfu or soccer. Soccer can enlarge our social scope and can also promote Buddhism."

Bruce Bremeise, a photographer of the international team, said: "It is very nice to play soccer games with Buddhist monks, who are very polite. Buddhistm is a peaceful religion."

Bremeise, who comes from the United States, said he would post pictures of the game on his Blog in order to let more people better understand those monks and their soccer team.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2007)

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