A Sabantuy that we visited was held on a large field near two farming communities in the rural Krasnousolskiy District of the Bashkir Republic. The flat field, surrounded by a forest and a river was a perfect spot for a Sabantuy: it had enough space for a wooden platform used as a stage for singers and dancers of the festival and a Maydan, a space where traditional sporting events were held.
The musical part of the festival was a fascinating concert with various performers. Traditional Chuvash songs were followed by Bashkir dancing and a Cossack choir, showcasing the multicultural face of the Bashkir Republic and the fact that every cultural group is always welcome at Sabantuy.
However, the highlight of the summer festival was traditional Tatar-Bashkir sporting events. A great variety of athletic competitions, including wrestling, horse-racing, post climbing, blindfolded pot smashing, battling with sacks sitting on a crossbar and racing in sacks were a thrilling cultural experience.
А здесь он яростно борется с местным мужиком. В мешках песок, так что получить таким довольно-таки больно. Суровые люди в Башкирии😂 _________ Here is the pic of Andrews battle 😀 #thelong_wayhome #башкирия #путешествуемпороссии #russiantravel #travelgram #путешествия #ethnicgames #ethnic #culturalexchange
As a long-time athlete and the observer of numerous sport games, I was happy to take part in several traditional sporting events during Sabantuy. I raced others in a sack, slammed a couple of pots while blindfolded and knocked down a few local men off a crossbar in sack-battling.
Спамим лейтеграмом и впечатлениями. Эндрю тоже на Сабантуе не терялся, только так участвовал в национальных конкурсах. Призов выиграл пакет целый 😂 П.с. Вот так прыгать, кстати, тяжко на деле. Кто пробовал? _________ Andrew took part in Bashkir national games😂 He enjoyed! #thelong_wayhome #travelgram #russiantravel #путешествуемпороссии #башкирия #ethnicgames
But by far the most exciting experience was climbing an over 30-feet (10-meters) bark-free post. The goal of this particular competition was easy – just climb up the post and grab one of the prizes hanging on the top of the post. At least that’s what I had thought initially.
Well, the climbing part wasn’t that hard. However, once on the top, I realized just how high the post was – a lot higher than I had thought from the ground. Out of breath and with aching muscles, I had the harder task in hand – climbing down the post.
“What the hell am I going to do now?” – I thought, clearly having no strength left for a descend.
Fortunately, a judge of the competition saw that I had no strength left in me and helped to put me back on the ground, using a safety rope on a harness that I wore. It was a thrilling experience that I’ll sure remember for the rest of my life. Once on the ground, I found out that I won a barbecue grill, so my climbing attempt didn’t go in vain.
What I liked the most in Sabantuy sport games was the fact that everyone, regardless of the level of their physical form, was welcome to participate in them. At the end of the day, although competitive, the games are about building friendship and having a good time.
Following the sport games, we were invited to visit yurts, traditional tents used by nomads in the Volga Region and Central Asia. Each yurt had various things to showcase, ranging from ethnic art, traditional clothes making and delicious cuisine, among other things.
Sabantuy in southern Bashkiria was a great experience. Not only did we have an amazing opportunity to learn about the local culture, but also meet people from all across the Bashkir Republic.
After attending a Sabantuy in the Krasnousolskiy District, I once again came to realize that the real life begins at the end of your comfort zone. We only live once, so it’s better to get the most out of it, every single day.
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