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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pongal Sports at Madurai

During the Pongal season in Tamilnadu Jallikattu, goat fights & cock fights are common and popular sports among rural folk. Jallikattu is a bull taming sport held as part of Pongal Day celebrations on Mattu Pongal Day. In Jalli Kattu the bulls are not killed and there are no weapons and there no trained matadors. It is the village youth who gather in large numbers to tame the bulls. The most famous bull taming sport is held in Alanganallur near Madurai and is commonly referred to as the Alanganallur Jallikattu.Jalllikattu has its origins from the Tamil Classical period or Sangam Age which dates back to 3rd-4th Century AD. The word Jallikattu originates from Salli Kaasu (coins)  & kattu ( packet) tied to the horns of the bull as prize money. As per legend in the olden days women chose as their husbands winners of the bull taming sport. Here is a video taken from the web, which depicts jalli-kattu in its contemporary form..
Another popular but not so well publicized sport is the goat fights or kadaa Muttu in Tamilnadu. Madurai is once again an important center where champion goats are reared. Goats carry names like Virumandi, Veera, Gilli, Billa etc Goats are generally fed dal, wheat, agathu keerai, fresh vegetables and even eggs. Dates are their main source of energy. This is what triggers their valour before a fight. Training sessions for the fighter goats are very tough. They have gruelling practice sessions before they get that strength to fight. The workouts the goats undergo are similar to what real heavy weight champions undergo.Running, swimming and bumping their heads repeatedly against hard surfaces are some of the activities performed by these goats.
 
 And finally another local sport that thrills the locals are cock fights. Cock fighting is said to be the world's oldest spectator sport. Its origins goes back to 6,000 BC in Persia.
                      

Happy Pongal to all viewers!

17 comments:

  1. I cannot understand why the SC gave permission to Jallikattu . Evan with riders the custom is awfully cruel. To hell with culture and all that.

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    1. I agree. It is an awfully cruel sport & such sports should be banned.

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  2. Apparently all these animal oriented sports have been banned, right?

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  3. As regards Jallikattu or taming of the bulls, Supreme Court has given clearance for conducting this sport but with conditions. But alas the conditions stipulated by the Courts are almost always flouted. So the sport goes on ! The goat & cock fights are not publicized much and happen on a much smaller scale.

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  4. oh!! darker side of the sweet festival..

    wish u all a very happy pongal sir...
    visited parents house to enjoy tasty pongal made by my mom...
    conveyed ur wishes to my dad..he is better now.
    thanks a lot!!

    regards
    anu

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    1. Glad to note that Dad is better. Nothing like tasting mothers pongal !

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  5. Cock fights, etc, are illegal in Hawaii. If caught, you will be arrested. I have no desire to watch this sort of thing.

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  6. Happy Pongal! Adventurous sport.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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  7. celebrating crops is one thing; fighting animals is another.

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  8. As TexWisGirl has rightly pointed out celebrating harvest festival sorts ill with subjugating a bull or making cocks fight.

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  9. Happy Pongal to you and your family.

    I have seen cock fights on TV but haven't heard about the goat fights. I somehow feel they are preserving what has been there for hundreds of years.

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  10. Happy Pongal, yes! This is all new to me - but it looks like fun! Happy start to your week too dear Ram!

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  11. @Bob,Anil,Deepak,Anu,Gigi,TWG,KP:

    Yes I agree with the sentiments you have expressed.These are all archaic traditions which have no place in today's modern India.Unless there is political & social will to ban such sport, these evils will continue to be propagated ! This certainly not the way to celebrate a harvest festival.

    Warm Regards Ram

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  12. Goats also? Didn't know that.
    It must be horrifying to watch Jallikettu, right? Btw, thank you for the info about how this sport gets its name.

    Belated Pongal wishes. :)

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  13. goat fighting... first time about it..

    thanks

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