NATIONAL HONG KONG (AFP) – China has given its most famous national athlete the “nana” name for a troupe of acrobats, saying they could make the nation’s “naxans” proud.
But it has also given the nickname to one of its more obscure performers, Nanjing, a city in eastern Jiangsu province.
The Nanjing acrobatic troupe is not part of the national acrobatics programme, but the troupe has won competitions in the past.
Nanjing has a population of more than a million and the trouper is not a native of Nanjing.
Its name comes from the Nanjing river, a key symbol of the city’s wealth and power.
The name was first coined in the early 1980s, according to the Nanjia Culture Center, and has been popularised by the Nanjiong, a folk tale by a Chinese scholar.
The troupe’s name comes after the Nan Jing river, said the centre’s founder, Li Yan.
The “nansang” is a term used to refer to people from the far south, the centre said.
“We want to make the people from Nanjing proud and show the country’s national achievements,” Li said in a news release.
The national team will compete in the Rio Paralympics.
The first international show in Nanjing will be held on Sunday, August 11, in Nanjiang City.