5 National Sports You Didn’t Know Existed
With The Summer Olympics coming up from London, a lot of focus is being put on sports from around the world. What about the sports that don’t get international attention? These 5 sports are the national sport of their home countries, but you may not even know that they exist.
Tejo (Columbia) – A foreign spectator might mistake Tejo for a game of horseshoes with a lot more firepower. In Tejo players toss metal disks down an approximately 60 foot track in an effort to make contact with another disk that is covered in gunpowder. There are a few different ways to score, including getting the gunpowder to explode. Traditionally the game is played while intoxicated, and most teams and tournaments are sponsored by beer companies. Despite the use of alcohol and explosives, most players claim the actual risk of injury is very small. (Source: Lonely Planet)
Capoeira (Brazil) – While most of us would assume that Soccer orJujitsu is the national sport of Brazil, in reality the traditional dance/martial art Capoeira holds the title. Developed by slaves brought over to Brazil by the Portuguese, Capoeira is real-life dance fighting, and not the kind of dance fighting that takes place in movies like, “You Got Served.” Legend has it that slaves designed Capoeira as a way to practice martial arts without their owners taking notice. Capoeira has recently grown in popularity thanks in part to the success of Brazilian born mixed martial artists competing in the UFC. (Source: Capoeira NYC)
Kabaddi (Bangladesh) – Kabaddi is, by some accounts, the most violent game in the world. A mix of wrestling and rugby, an attacking player runs onto the court and attempts to touch as many of the defending team’s players as possible without taking a breath. If the player breaths before returning to his home base he is out. The defending team does everything they can to block, tackle and wrestle the attacking player away from their base. (Source: kabaddi.org)
Pato (Argentina) – Pato is a traditional Argentine game that looks like a mix between polo, basketball and Quidditch. Teams compete on horseback to throw a ball wrapped in leather through an opponents’ hoop. The game has been banned in Argentina on several occasions due to the barbaric early versions of the game which included the use of a live duck (un pato) in place of the ball. The game was reinstated once and for all in 1938 and is now played across South America, North America and Europe. (Source: Argentina.ar)
Cirit (Turkey) – The origins of Cirit go back more than 1000 years and it is one of many equestrian sports practiced in Turkey. Two teams line up on opposite sides of the field and the first player, usually the youngest on the team, rides towards the opposing team verbally calling out one of their players. The player who has been called then attempts to chase down the first player and hit them with a (thrown) javelin. If the thrower misses, a second player from the first team comes out and begins to chase him back to his side of the field, and so on. While Cirit is traditionally a very violent game, it has recently become less dangerous with players choosing to throw light weight sticks instead of the traditional javelin. (Source: allaboutturkey.com)
Kenny Soto is a writer for the blog at MyMove.com. For more information about sports and other traditions from around the world, including how to buy the perfect housewarming gift visit My Move today.