Friday, August 17, 2018
Megalaya

Arts


Entertainments

The off season periods from the labours of the field or such occupations are periods when people the world over, seek amusements in sports and other forms of entertainments. Among the Garos, the young and the robust indulge in trials of strength like wrestling (Cha-gripa) wa-bong-sik', a variation of tug-of-war.

With the aid of a bamboo pole, each side trying to push the other to defeat. Another contest for two men is the Wa-pong-kol'a with two men sitting astride a bamboo pole facing each other. Each would try to lever his opponent up from the sitting position using the pole only. The Jakol-Kala'a has been described as a point-to-point race between two homes with opponents trying to catch the runner before he reaches the next home. This naturally requires stamina and speed. The most popular past time among Khasis and Pnars is archery. Khasi bows are lighter than the ones used in hunting. The arrows have pointed iron heads. This is a game of skill and the target is a slender bundle of straw about handgrip thick. The distance to the target is roughly 25 metres. This is a contest between individuals  primarily but between villages, climaxed by a straight contest between individual champions. This may extend over a period of weeks, being held on a 'rest day'. In the Shillong area, the day is usually the lyngka day the one following the important market day or 'burra bazaar'. Obviously, the side that scores the largest number of hits wins. An interesting and entertaining feature of the game comes at the end when the winning team parades up and down the field throwing out paeans of triumph to the uninitiated sounds of insulting the other team, but this is actually done in a spirit of fun and banter. The winning side knows very well that at the next round they may be the losers.

In recent years this entertaining sports has been abused by the introduction of the element of gambling but in rural areas the game goes on all its innocence.

Hunting and fishing are the seasonal sports which engage people as recreational activities. Fishing with reels and the line has become popular. At the Umiam damsite, fishing competitions are held every year. Prizes are awarded to the best angler.

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