Afghanistan Diary
Sunday, March 13, 2005
  Buzkashi

On Friday, I was lucky enough to see a Buzkashi, the national afghan sport.
It is a team sport, although it is not obvious to the outsiders since neither side wears any uniform. Every player has a horse and the game consists in getting a headless goat carcass from the center of the field, running around a flag pole with it, then dropping it inside a designated area. Of course, there is a rugby like quality to the event, as every player tries to grab the carcass. Last Friday, the goat was 50Kg, but it can weight up to 100Kg. Needless to say, it requires some strength to light 100Kg off the ground, with one hand, while riding a horse. Apparently one of the players even had a wooden leg! Buzkashi horses are apparently very expensive. Warlords are said to sponsor these games, and players who “score” received some amount of money (it was not very clear from whom. Probably from people betting, but there was no visible bets taking place). The field was located near the ISAF compound and the only shadow on the event was the presence of American military troops. It is fair enough that they attended but in between games, a blonde chick (need I specify, unveiled) in military gear found nothing better to than to ride one of the horses around the field. Not exactly the most culturally sensitive thing to do… goat carcass being dropped in the


Buzkashi Players  

Buzkashi players ighting for the headless goat carcass

  
Buzkashi players ighting for the headless goat carcass
 
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This is my diary. My name is Lev and I work in Kabul for a non-governmental organization (dacaar.org).

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