Naga traditional wrestling in Leshi attracts visitors

Naga ethnic people playing traditional wrestling during Naga Traditional New Year Festival in Leshi Township, Sagaing Region. Photo: Win Oo
Naga ethnic people playing traditional wrestling during Naga Traditional New Year Festival in Leshi Township, Sagaing Region. Photo: Win Oo

Most travellers visiting the Naga region have shown a keen interest in the Naga ethnic people’s traditional wrestling during the festival.
There are six ethnic groups of Naga people living in Leshi Township of the Naga Self-Administered Zone, Sagaing Region. The groups have different traditional dances and sports.
One of their traditional sports is wrestling, which involves two teams with an odd number of competitors. The two teams are called the catching team and the protecting team. The match is overseen by a chief judge with the assistance of two line judges. When there is a dispute, the decision of the chief judge is final.
“Traditional wrestling is usually organized only at the time of the festival. The Naga ethinc groups train brave youth from their community for wrestling. What counts is the unity and the use of the right techniques,” said U Ra Pop, the vice chairman of the Naga ethnic cultural committee. Local and foreign travellers visiting the Naga Self-Administered Zone are keen on watching traditional wrestling, he said.—Win Oo (Zeyar Taing) (Translated by Hay Mar)

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