Games and Amusements
By nature Punjabis are sports-lovers. They have produced some world-famous
sportsmen like Dara Singh, Milka Singh and Balbir Singh, who have made
a name for themselves and for the country in wrestling, athletics and
hockey. There are all types of games suiting the age and stamina
of all persons. While the young persons are engaged in Kabaddi and wrestling,
the smaller ones play gullidanda, kokla chhapaki, khiddoo etc. Older persons
have tahna and chopar to keep them occupied.
Sports are a common phenomenon at fairs. The participants
jump into the fields to play kabaddi, wrestling, gripping the wrist etc.
Sometimes inter-village championships are held.
Kabaddi is the most popular game of the Punjab and
is played by people of different age-groups. This is one game in which
the participant has to give a proper exhibition of his physical powers,
ability, craft and practice to hold breath.
The players are divided into two groups. Both the teams
stand facing each other and a line is drawn in the centre. One member
of the team on one side of the line runs across to the other side, all
the time shouting in one breath 'kabaddi, kabaddi'. His effort is to touch
a member of the opposite team and run safely back to his side. If he succeeds
the player of the opposite team thus touched is eliminated from the play.
The team on the other side endeavours to ensure that the person touched
should hold the attacker and keep him on their side of the line till his
breath breaks. If the attacker crosses the line back without losing
his breath he is victorious, otherwise he is eliminated. This is how players
are made to go out one by one till one of the teams is entirely eliminated
and thus defeated.
Saunchi is a game very popular in Malwa, Ferozepur and
Bhatinda. This is a kind of tag played by two men, the object being to
strike the other person on the chest with the open hand, without being
caught. Wrestling is another highly popular sport in the Punjab.
Almost in every fair wrestling is a must. Wrestling is a severe test for
the stamina as also trick and ability. Out of the two competitors, he
who succeeds in pinning the other flat, the shoulders touching the ground
is declared the winner.