by Andy Vuia
Every day when I am going out of my flat and pass my little street with all the food and the pet shops I always wondering why the most of the pet shops had countless little bird cages and jars filled with crickets an grasshoppers waiting to get sold.
I always thought “maybe food for the turtles or birds”. No it isn’t food for other pets, it’s a tradition for more than 1000 years of history in China and that there are many Chinese who still enjoy this ancient tradition, Cricket fighting. Men looking in the shops for the little gladiators to bring them glory and of course money! It´s a big thing in China. Cricket fighting sounds like kid’s stuff, but this is really a serious sport for those who spend a lot of time and money to care for and train the creatures.
In this sport, big teeth are prized! Only male crickets which are raised in the wild can be chosen to fight against each other. The ring is a transparent oval-shape. The Prices of crickets vary in the shops. Normally they starting at 10 till 50 RMB. But there are also “Fighters” which are really expensive and could be sold for 1000 RMB or even more. In the underground gambling scene the prices are much higher. Even the cricket never lost a “fight” they can go to 10000 RMB because they getting more important for betting / gambling on a fight. During each match, the crickets are weighed in like boxers, and then ‘teased’ or riled up by the competitors. They are also National Championships but without price money, here it´s all about the honour. Gambling is strictly prohibited in China, so the most will happen in the underground.
Now everybody thinking they will kill each other in the ring but it isn’t like that. The Crickets showing the big teeth and they going on to the other one, maybe some of them loose his antenna but that’s all. The battle lasts only a few seconds, the first who turns from the opponent will lose the fight.
How serious this sport is can see on the YouTube links below!
Vice Sports. A Day of Cricket Fighting In Beijing