Traditional folk sports of rural Bangladesh: a look back

The general public’s taste for sport has evolved over time. Nowadays, people are more interested in world sports such as football, cricket and others. These popular sports appeal to a wide range of people, not just city dwellers. Satellites have now reached even the most isolated villages, sparking interest in global sports among the rural population. As a result, some of the traditional sports of Bengal are becoming obsolete. However, locals continued to organize traditional sports in some places. Let’s take a look at some of The traditional folk sports of Bangladesh.

The most popular folk sports of Bangladesh

The Bengals have a long history in rural sports. What were once major sporting events in Bengali culture are now largely forgotten. However, many games have survived through the ages. Let’s take a look at some of the traditional sports of Bengal.

Jobbarer Boli Khela

Boli refers to a wrestler, while Khela refers to a game. Boli Khela therefore refers to the game of a powerful person. It is a traditional type of wrestling in Bangladesh which is particularly popular in the Chattogram region and is considered the national sport of the district.

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Melee combats, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grapple handles are all used in this type of combat sport. The sporting event takes place in the first month of the Bengali year. He is known as Jabbarer Boli Khela in Laldighi Maidan in Chattogram.

Horses race

Bengal was once a hotspot for horse racing in this region. Although there was no active public participation; instead, they were just spectators. However, it later became a public game. Horse races were held in the open field towards the end of the rice harvest. Horse races and rural fairs were once the occasion for public gatherings. Currently, annual horse races are held in the Chalanbil region, which includes Pabna, Natore, Sirajganj, Bogra and Naogaon.

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Pleasure boating (Nouka Baich)

Since ancient times, boating has been an important part of Bengali culture. Like other sports, boating has lost its appeal over time. However, it has started to regain popularity in recent years thanks to many initiatives. It has spread to rivers and large farming communities beyond the borders of space and time.

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Wooden boats, such as Sheel, Kadai, Shawl, Gorjon, and Chambul, are commonly used for boating. Typically, boats such as sarangis, sampans, and jewelry are featured in boat races. Colored paper and paint are used to adorn the boat. Depending on the speed and appearance of the boat, each boat has a cute nickname. Jayanagar, Storm Bird, Chilekata, Pankhiraj, Simon, Tufan Mel, Mayurpankhi, Agradut, Deepraj, Sonar Tari, etc. are a few examples.

Pasha Khela

Despite the fact that Pasha Khela is banned in many religious texts, it remains popular in rural Bengal. When a village fair takes place, a particular area is usually reserved for playing pasha. A small launcher with many stops; generally used to generate random numbers. Pasha is frequently used in table games such as dice, board games, and role-playing games, as well as in gambling.

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Lathi Khela

Lathi Khela is a traditional Bengali martial technique similar to stick fighting and popular in India and Bangladesh. A lathial is a type of practitioner. Lathi is a Bengali term meaning stick, while khela is a Bengali word meaning sport or game. Accordingly, lathi khela translates to “stick game”. Lathi is usually made from male bamboo and is sometimes tied with iron rings at short intervals. Baoi Jhak, Nori Bari, Fala Khela and Dao Khela were among the acts performed by the Lathial group. However, Lathi Khela’s popularity is also declining.

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Bullfighting

Bullfighting is a popular sport in the remote rural areas of Narail district. As the crimson, black, razor-sharp horned and garlanded bulls prepared for a fight, thousands of spectators cheered and shouted. Two masters drew two bulls into a battle with each bull. Mantras and witchcraft are used in several ways for this fight. The region’s most famous and award-winning bull owners are honored.

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Ha-du-du

Bangladesh’s national sport, Kabaddi, is one of the most popular games in rural Bengal. He is known in the village as Ha-du-du. However, there is no difference between kabaddi and ha-du-du. The Ha-du-du game is commonly played in Ashar, Shravan, Bhadra, and Ashwin in rural areas. Kabaddi doesn’t need a big playing field. On each side there are seven players.

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Go forward

Popular sports encapsulate a country’s rural tradition and culture. Therefore, measures must be taken to preserve these native sports to protect The rural culture of Bangladesh. This will require government support. The government should take the initiative and organize regular competitions to keep these rural sports alive. Organizing local fairs focused on this form of competition will spark people’s interest in these sports. In addition, such activities are very beneficial in terms of strengthening local mutual ties.

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