Cultural and Traditional Sports around the World

It is no secret that the most popular sports items in the world are football, cricket, swimming, golf, etc. However, many sports items in the world are not much noticed. Some of them are deeply rooted in the culture and tradition of certain places. These sports events are to be celebrated and developed. UNESCO finds these traditional sports as a vital part of the cultural heritage of a country. It will help to learn more about the traditional and cultural practices of a community. 

Let’s look deep into some such sports that exist in different parts of the world. It is very important to make sure that these games and sports are to be protected and portrayed in front of the world. 

  • Genna in Ethiopia

This is a highly traditional game played in the rural regions of Ethiopia during Christmas time. It is somewhat similar to the present hockey game. The game’s origin can be traced to the emergence of Christianity in the country. It is said that it was shepherds who played this game for the first time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The term Genna originated from Genos, a Greek word that means birth. 

The game is usually played in an open field that has two goal posts which will be located on both sides. There will be wooden balls and wooden sticks in curved shapes. The teams will throw the ball into the air and use sticks to hit it to the opposite team’s goal post. Before the game starts, there is a traditional prayer, which is called enkurkuso. 

  • Kho Kho in India

This is one of the most popular and oldest games that exist in India. Kho Kho can be considered as an updated version of run and chase, in which the player will chase and touch the opponents. There will be two innings in the game. Each team will get seven minutes to chase and seven minutes for defending. Within the assigned time, the chasing team has to chase and eliminate all the players in the defending team. The team that scores the highest will win. 

Kho Kho’s origin dates back to ancient times. It can be considered to be an adaptation of Rathera, which used raths (chariots) to chase. The Deccan Gymkhana Club of Pune molded the current Kho Kho version with some rules and regulations. The first Asian Kho-Kho Championship of 1996 that happened in Kolkata fetched international recognition for the game.

There are many fans of Kho Kho in South Asia. The game helps in fostering discipline, team spirit, agility, mental and physical fitness, etc. Even though there are several Kho Kho tournaments in South Asia, it is yet to find the pace at the international level. 

  • Cirit in Turkey

This is a native horse riding that has been popular in Turkey since ancient times. Horses were an integral part of the lives of Turks. This game was considered to be a martial sport widely in the Ottoman Empire. Armies used Cirit to strengthen the attack and defense of their cavalry. 

Categories: Sports