Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The Aluminum Ball Challenge Started With Mud

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(spirited orchestral music)

- [Narrator] This is the aluminum ball challenge.

- We are doing the aluminum foil ball challenge.

- [Narrator] It swept the internet. (knocking)

It was pretty much people making smooth,

shiny balls out of aluminum foil.

It originated in Japan, but the story doesn't end there.

It gets more meta, because this challenge

actually came from another tradition in Japan;

and in true Japanese fashion,

that tradition is pretty spectacular.

(soft piano music)

Dorodango is a Japanese art form

in which earth and water are molded

to create a delicate, shiny sphere.

That's a nice way of saying

that these are very fancy mud balls.

And when it comes to making dorodango in Japan,

Kiyoko Miki is one of the best.

(foreign language)

The process, condensed, goes like this:

Get a clay-based mud;

mix it with hay; this helps keep it from falling apart.

Roll it into a sphere, and leave it to dry in the sun.

(foreign language)

And the story doesn't end here,

because where there is something beautiful,

there is a competition to prove who is the best.

And Kiyoko is a judge.

This is the annual dorodango tournament in Tokoname, Japan.

(foreign language)

This year, contestants from all over Japan

have come to showcase their work.

It looks like they've got a winner.

So what does a winning dorodango look like?

Hmm, very shiny.

(foreign language)

Colored, plain, large, small,

the dorodango is not a one-look pony.

It exemplifies so much of Japanese culture:

patience, perfection, and the pursuit

of beauty in everyday things.

And they're also pretty cool to look at.

The Description of The Aluminum Ball Challenge Started With Mud