I'm a pagan...I'm a liberal..I live in West, Texas..

Monday, January 11, 2010

BUZKASHI






























Buzkashi, which literally translated means "goat grabbing" is the national sport of Afghanistan. Many historians believe that Buzkashi began with the Turkic-Mongol people, and it is indigenous shared by the people of Northern Afghanistan. There are two main types of Buzkashi, Tudabarai and Qarajai. Tudabarai is relatively simple compared with Qarajai, even though they share similar objectives.
In Buzkashi, a headless carcass is placed in the center of a circle and surrounded by the players of two opposing teams. The object of the game, is to get control of the carcass and bring it to the scoring area. Although it seems like a simple task, it is not. Only the most masterful players, (called chapandaz) ever even get close to the carcass. The competition is fierce, and the winner of a match receives prizes that have been donated by a sponsor. These prizes range from money, to fine turbans and clothes. In order for someone to become a chapandaz, one must undergo a tremendous amount of difficult training. In fact, the best chapandaz, are usually over the age of forty. Buzkashi, is definitely not a game for the weak.
The players are not the only ones who undergo arduous training; the horses that participate in buzkashi must train for five years before ever making it to the playing field. Buzkashi, is indeed a dangerous sport, but intensive training and excellent communication between the horse and rider can help minimize the risk of injury.
The different types of Buzkashi: Tudabarai & Qarajai
In Tudabarai, in order to score, the rider must obtain possession of the carcass and then carry it away from the starting circle in any direction. The rider must stay free and clear of the other riders.
In Qarajai, the task is much more complex. The player must carry the calf around a marker, and then return the carcass to the team's designated scoring circle.
In each version of the game, points are awarded for successfully completing the task of getting control of the carcass, and getting it to the proper scoring area. The winner of each match receives prizes which have been put up by a sponsor. The top prizes are usually money, or fine clothes.
To many Afghans, Buzkashi is not just a game, it is a way of life; a way in which teamwork and communication are essential to being successful.
I got this word for word off the Afghanistan website. This was a very popular sport until the Taliban opposed it and they made it hard for them to 'play'. Now that the Taliban isn't in 'power' they are playing the 'sport' again.
(the rest of this is from an article by Tony Perry from the Los Angeles Times.
It was banned during the Taliban's reign and resuscitated after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. The ancient and only lightly regulated sport is bigger than ever, according to officials who organize weekly games in several locations in the capital and 17 outlaying provinces. Friday is buzlcashi day in most of Afghanistan. So far, at least, the resurgent Taliban militants haven't been able to stop buzkashi.
Haji Abdul Rashid, head of the government-sponsored Buzkashi Federation, has dreams of leagues, corporate sponsorship, television and even acceptance for the Olympic Games.(yeah, like that's going to happen.)
"A buzlcashi rider must be a real man," he said. "Not just in his body but in his heart and his mind.
American anthropologist G. Whitney Azoy finds buzkashi a suitable metaphor for Afghan life:brutal, chaotic, a continual fight for control(in this case, of a dead goat.)
Afghanistan, Azoy notes in his book Buzkashi:Game and Power in Afghanistan, has been largely bereft of strong institutions that provide security and stability. Instead, leaders are men who can seize control by means foul and fair and then fight off their rivals. The buzkashi rider does the same.
Rashid, a former buzkahi champion, has a slightly different take. Buzkashi reminds Afghans of their warrior culture, he says, and the goat symbolizes their vanquished foe.
Ok...and this in a nutshell is why we will never win in Afghanistan. Unless President Obama takes off a year and learns how to ride a horse, snatch up a headless goat and ride hell bent for leather to toss the goat into a circle, we're fucked.
Another history lesson and my take on world events.

18 comments:

Intense Guy said...

Well, without a doubt, Obama is never gonna do this.

We (humankind in general) do a lot of weird sh*t in the name of "sports".

I'm was really glad the find out that goat is dead to start with here...

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

there was a picture of the goats head in a bowl of some sort of broth...yeah, that's appatizing...

sageweb said...

that is gross.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

How does this compare to our own culture's rodeo tradition? Arguably, there seems to be some similarities. Horsemanship, skill, rough-and-tumble competition, danger, the occasional dead animal?

Nit Wit said...

I don't know why they don't just stop fooling around. A real man in that area has more respect for a goat than a woman. Just take some woman who looked funny at some guy and didn't like being raped and use her that way you don't waste a perfectly good goat.
It can't be that hard a game, In Rambo 3 John Rambo beat everyone on his first try and on a strange horse to boot.
If they played on foot and used the head of one of their tribal leaders they might be able to build a national franchise.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I would like to see them bomb that entire area back to the stone ages..but that would be an improvement...
tsk tsk* bad jackie bad jackie

texlahoma said...

The Taliban had opium production down to almost nothing and made them stop playing that shit.
It's a good thing we have troops over there to set things straight.

Nan said...

Hard to bomb a country back to the Stone Age when they haven't gotten there yet.

jan said...

Does ESPN know about this?

Junebugg said...

I've read about this somewhere. The article I read had numbers of players killed & wounded in a typical year - the numbers were mind numbing. Let 'em play, maybe they'll kill each other off

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

Im not sure we can equate rodeo's with goat grabbing...bull fighting might be closer...

Sling said...

I think any time we try to insert ourselves into an ancient civilization,and try to win their hearts and minds by offering them corn flakes and disposable razors,we seriously over estimate ourselves.

Brian Burke said...

I saw this "sport" on "Current T.V.", when they covered it somewhere in the western U.S. There, they do not use an actual carcass, rather a stuffed mock. Throngs turn out.

I don't care who wears a burka (sp?), grows opium, or kills goats on the other side of the world, but I do care if it's a backyard training camp and hiding place for terrorists.

Kulkuri said...

Sure the Taliban stopped most of the opium production when they were in power. Now most of the Taliban's money comes from opium. That's the reason opium production is at record levels. I guess all's fair in love or war.

It's 8 years too late to fix the problems over there. The best course would be to declare victory and leave.

heartinhand said...

Buzzcocky sounds like Canadian Hockey! I can relate. Totally.

Elizabeth said...

Hey! Obama could do it! And it certainly couldn't be any worse that what that game of Bushchani (knocking around the dead body of the US constitution) our last regime played for 8 years....

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

good ole usa..now opium farmers are back in business, womens rights out the door and goat grabbing..what else can we do for them?

rosemary said...

Goats....I am amazed at this whole article....who knew they even had "sports" in Afghanistan.....first goats, next female children. They'll call it progress.