Saturday, March 17, 2007

17 March 2007, Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you, whether you remember him for why he became a Saint to start with or because you like green beer. Today is also my Happy Dance Friday,(since a dunce in Oklahoma made me rant yesterday, I had to move my Happy Dance Friday to Saturday). If I was a smarter man, I would have a video clip for you of several people dancing yesterday. Instead I just have still pictures.
This is the referee during an intermission. He provides the entertainment during the breaks.
Yesterday we had a treat here at Camp Phoenix. The national sport of Afghanistan is Buzkashi. Buzkashi is a very old game that when translated means "goat grabbing". It is played on horse back. If you watched Rambo III, you saw him join in the game with the Mujehadeen fighters. The idea of the game is to take a dead goat or calf, after the head has been severed off, and take it from a starting circle to around a pole and back to your team's circle.
Each round or session ends with a scoring. The rider who scored comes to the gallery and receives the prize. The prize differs as each session is sponsored by the gallery. Money and fine clothes are the best gifts.

It is a very violent game with players hitting each other, horses turning over or charging at you. It had been arranged that the Kabul International team would come to camp and play on our field. The hats are made of wolf's fur as the hunter seeking the prey. The horses are some of the best looking animals in Afghanistan because they get fed well and treated probably better than the women here. In fact, women aren't even allowed to watch the sport at all. You ask about our female soldiers. Well, they are the exception because they aren't considered women by the local population. However, there were two local women that work as interpreters for me that got to go to the event and also actually got to ride some of the horses off to the side. This was indeed a treat for them, and they were very excited about being able to attend. It was fun watching a part of the culture of this country and the interaction we had with each other. Be safe and have a great day.


Claire said...

Wow! that must of been fascinating to watch. A little bit violent, but fascinating all the same.
Was there no American team?

Sarge Charlie said...

Interesting post Sarge, I saw it in RAMBO III, it looked like a rough sport. Well let's face it these are rough people, it is natural their games would be the same. Also interesting comment about the horses, better than women.

Did you get an e-mail from me?

stay safe my friend.

Maryfly said...

Happy St. Paddy's Day! stay safe!

Bond said...

I have lurked before, but I believe this is my first comment. I also saw this in the Rambo movie. It is one violent sport for sure.

You and I pass each other often in the bloggosphere.

I apologize for not posting here sooner.

Thank you for all you do and I wish you peace and safety.

Come by and sit on THE COUCH sometime...always room for a brave protector of our freedom.

Desert Songbird said...

Wow - what an "interesting" cultural custom. Hmmm...

Just found out my nephew is due to be deployed to Iraq in a few months. Additionally, my nephew-in-law will be deployed to Afghanistan in a few weeks. Just wanted to say: thanks again for your service. Stay safe, Han, and may the Force be with you.

Sarge Charlie said...

I did my post on you rant, I saw your comment on Sanni place, let me know if I have the wrong person, if so I will take it down, I am betting I have the right one and it is a girl.

Sanni said...

I bet now Shawn is my real friend after nominating him/her/it =)

Have a great weekend, Happy St. Patrick´s day and don´t forget: Stay safe =)

Heather in Beautiful BC said...

Fascinating to watch I'm sure. Great pictures - that's one nice looking horse in the last photo - not that I know anything about horses...

So, I want to know more details about the they drag the goat? How many players? What sort of clothing is the best prize? Perhaps I should watch Rambo again - it's been too many years for my brain...

Thanks for sharing this - I love learning about other cultures!

Odat said...

Buzhashi? God Bless you...haha.
Sounds like someone sneezed.

Anyhoo..I saw this in Rambo too...very cool....cept that the hourses are treated better than women....Booooooo.


Mimi Lenox said...

Oh MY. I learn so much from you, SGT. A severed headed goat? YUK YUK YUK.

Do you think the team would come to my house and hunt down the mice?
And do you have your tank fixed yet? I'm waiting out the weekend - carless of course - just in case the blasted thing had relatives.

This was a fascinating post, SGT. Just fascinating. Thanks for sharing. (dead goats and all)


It's a lot less offensive than bull fighting! I'm not a sissy but I think bull fighting is barbaric; at least the goat is dead. Oh, but they tell us that torturing the bull is an art form. Tell that to the bull. But I should add the bull fighter looks like a sissy. Now, I've probably offended somebody. Sorry.