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" সিলেটের ঐতিহ্যবাহী ষাঁড়ের লড়াই এর অফিশিয়াল ফেইছবুক পেইজ "
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"Traditional Bull Fighting in Sylhet "Bull Fighting is among one of the festivals that marks the beginning of the Bengali new year. It may surprise a regular Bengali, who lives in the city, to know that we have our own version of Bullfighting. Granted there’s a lot less bloodshed but it’s more of an end of the season celebration ritual rather than a sport. That’s why we’ll never find a bullfighting event in the city but in the rural areas where old traditions and practice still thrive. Especially in Sylhet.
It happens once a year, during the winter season after the harvest is done. In our version of bullfighting two bulls, instead of a man and a bull, fight against each other for prizes offered by the local authorities who actually arrange the entire event.
Before the entire event even begins, special preparations are done by the owners of the contenders on the previous night of the event. Anojha or gunin (witch doctor) performs a ritual with chants of mantra’s using candles, rice, eggs, mirrors and water. These chants are done to ensure victory, good fortune and protection for the bull, from both wounds and curses which might be cast by the losing teams.
The next morning the bulls are brought into the arena adorned with colourful pieces of cloth. And along with the bull comes the party of its well wishers, fans, and managers. They are a Thola.Together, with the bull’s head strapped securely between two bamboo poles, they lead the bull towards the arena. They walk it around in circles, enraging it, so that the anger can be used to motivate the beast to go against one of its own. This brewing of rage is done for several days before the event by not letting the bull out into sunlight and only feeding it at night.
As several fights are held together, the bulls are divided into four categories :
1st group = strong
2nd group = slightly strong
3rd group = slightly strong but not so strong as the bulls on the 2nd group
4th group = Bulls with no numbers
The 4th group is always allowed to fight first.
Special sand is thrown on the bull as good luck. This ritual is similar to that of the sumo wrestlers who throw salt into the ring before a match to get rid of evil from the ground.
Rituals done, blessings and curses cast, and with the crowd growing impatient, two opponents enter the field. One, lets say is, black while the other is silver in colour. Both have large supporters on their sides and hopeful managers who guide them towards each other. The bulls grunt and swing their hands side to side, showing off their dangerously sharp horn’s and their agitation with everyone in general. They want to fight. They need to fight and its irritating to have all of these humans holding them back. The two bulls are brought face to face. The tip of their horns are touching but they can only move when their handlers allow them to. The moment they are released, they clash with one another with their horns, cutting tender flesh and bruising bones. It is all a confusion of rage, need and blood.
Black and silver are both strong but both cannot win. They try to overpower each other, pushing one another back with the sheer force of their skull. Their handlers are dancing around them, making signs with their bodies, telling them what to do. There are other people dancing around them as well, nearly avoiding them by inches of space to spare. These are not the handlers. These are members of the audience who got a little bit too excited. And when we, Bengalis get excited we turn suicidal. It’s like the joy we feel from the danger of jaywalking when there’s clearly an over-bridge right over our heads. The thought that one might get seriously hurt never crosses the mind. Bengalis are fearless if nothing else.
Some bulls though, after a while into the days events, will not want to fight and there is nothing that the owner can do but walk away from the arena with his head bowed and shamed in front of his entire village.
The prizes of the event are : 1st prize TV
2nd prize Calf
3rd prize Goat
These are given at the end of the event by the local chairman or political leader. Though the prizes may appear meagre and almost insignificant, they are not what really matter. The prizes are just there for show, they don’t count for anything. The real prize is the fame and glory of the win. The social recognition that he is a champion and that he has won something that many others hadn’t, is more precious than the TV. By winning the owner of the bull has elevated himself to the top of the pedestal. He is no longer just an average old man but a Champion among men in his village. People will fawn over him, follow him where he leads, and give him the respect that he had earned through the competition. For a year he will feel like an adored prince. That is what really matters. Everything else material pales in comparison
সিলেটের ঐতিহ্যবাহী ষাঁড়ের লড়াই এর ভিডিও এবং ফটো আমাদের পেইজে পাবেন "