CHAKWAL, March 10: Maingan village witnessed the first “Karah”, or bull contest, of the season. A large crowd from across the district came to see the event, a tradition that is holding its own in the modern world.

A resident of Maingan, Chaudhry Jamshed, hosted the event to display “Kala Bhagwalia”, the famous bull he recently purchased (“Kala” refers to the animal’s black colour; “Bhagwalia”, its origins in Bhagwal village). Around eighty bulls are estimated to have taken part in Saturday’s competition, most of them of the Dhani breed of Chakwal, prized for their beauty and their strength.

Spectators began arriving in Maingain at around 2pm, and soon many of them watched as the bulls were brought in to drumbeats, firecrackers and a performance of “ludi”, a traditional dance.

In a Karah competition, two bulls are yoked together and brought to one side of an arena. While two people hold the bulls from the front, behind them, one person presses a karah, or wooden plank, into the soft, plowed earth, so that it gets stuck.

The man then sits on the karah, adding to the bulls’ burden. If the animals pull the karat smoothly, quickly and at a regular pace, the crowd applauds the performance, their judgment deciding victory.

According to Chaudhry Nawab Khan, “The event is flourishing more with each day, since more young people have started taking an interest.”—Correspondent

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