Monday, April 22, 2013

Bull fighting the Nepali Style

With rich tradition and culture, Nepal has survived its identity amongst intrinsic fest and festival which
are testimonial to its uniqueness and practices. From the living goddess Kumari to the illusive Yeti to
the birth place of light of Asia Gautama Buddha, everything is here in Nepal. May be this is the reason
why Nepal has successfully established it’s self as a holiday destination. Like such, the tradition of bull
fighting may seem indifferent but it’s not a copied of the European league to its reality bull fight in
Nepal started centuries ago. It is believed that bullfighting was introduced here in Taruka, Nuwakot in
the 1900, by Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh, a monarch of the ancient Bajhang kingdom a part of the western
Nepal. The fights used to happen in different places around Nuwakot district during the festival of
Maghe Sakranti but six years ago the local decided to bring them all together for one big fight here in
the current location of Taruka.

This year also the Taruka Village organized a Bull Fighting competition here in Nuwakot district. Like
every year thousands of adventure enthusiast came here to see the bull fighting marking Maghe
Sankranti, the first day of the tenth month in the nation's calendar. Bull fighting has been seen as a
tradition of Nepal from the past where huge concerns have been raised by animal activists, though
reluctantly it happens every year with least cases of accidents.

People from all over Nepal gather here in Nuwakot just to witness this one of a kind event. Exciting and
exhilarating it’s a crazy action that the adventure enthusiasts love to participate and watch. During the
battle several pairs of bull entertained the crowd with the amazement and excitement overlooking the
spectacular on the terraced hillsides, fertile valleys and terracotta tiled roofs of Nuwakot in front of the
crowd of thousands that perched on grass banks and muddy slope.

The bull are highly trained for the annual fiesta where the Nepali version of the bull
fight is completely different from the European as no bloodshed occurs. Serious injuries to the animals
are rare as owners and handlers step in with bamboo prods to separate sparring bulls if one looks hurt.
Generally bouts only go on until one animal tires and gives up. Unlike in Spanish version people here
enjoy the fight between two bulls not between a bull and a man. Regarding the bulls, they are selected
when they are calves and trained only to fight at the annual fiesta, being spared the ploughing duties
their less tenacious siblings are reared for. It is regarded as prize and prestige to have the strongest bull
that brings honor and glory to the Family.

Indeed, Nepal has unique cultures and traditions, just like that if you look at the practices then we can
see Maghe Sankranti being marked as a special day in the different community like the Tharus in Terai
mark it as New Year by electing a new village leader, hiring new workers and receiving tika and blessing
from the elders. In the hills, the people organize fairs on the river banks and in Nuwakot it marks with
Bull fight. It may seem orthodox but reality is Bull fighting is a tradition that has prolonged more than
200 years and it shows the riches of what the real Nepal is. May be the definition of real Nepal may
differ according to place, people and time but for a travelers and tourists who wants to see the real
customs and traditions Bull Fighting competition can be an exciting means of looking at Nepal from a
different angle .

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