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Bashkir national games and sports

The Bashkirs are a Turkic people inhabiting the region of Bashkortostan, who conquered the harsh climate of the Urals and reverently preserve their history and culture. They are descendants of ancient nomads, freedom-loving and warlike, who still honor old traditions, preserving courage, keen sense of justice, valor and pride in standing up for their interests.

The main occupation of Bashkirs in the past was semi-nomadic cattle-breeding, which was combined with agriculture, hunting, wine-growing, bee-keeping, poultry-farming, fishing and gathering. In trades they were famous for weaving, felt weaving, production of lint-free carpets, shawls, embroidery, tannery, wood and metal processing.

Bashkirs are skillful riders; in their villages they taught their children horseback riding from an early age. It used to be said that Bashkirs were born and died in the saddle, and indeed most of their life was spent on horseback. Women were just as good on horseback and could ride for days if necessary. They did not cover their faces, unlike other Islamic women, had the right to vote. The elderly Bashkir women had the same influence in the community as the elders-aksakals. There was always a subtle interweaving of Muslim culture with ancient pagan beliefs and reverence for the forces of nature in the culture, rites and celebrations. Much of this is reflected in the unique national sports and games, which are a variety of physical exercises and activities that contribute to the development of strength, agility, endurance, intelligence, courage, needed in the workforce and in protecting their land from enemies. It is known that physical exercises and games of the Bashkirs have always been supplemented by hardening methods: bathing in ice-cold water, a hot bath, pouring cold water, wiping with snow.

Bashkir folk sports include archery, smooth pole climbing, javelin, mace, stone and hunting dagger throwing, tug-of-war and rope (harness), boating, long-distance swimming, diving and jumping into water, Towns, lapta, belt wrestling (kuresh), equestrian and motor-skiing sports, running, "snow fortress" taking, running in sacks, weight lifting and weight lifting, arm wrestling, jumping over the fire, playing "baby" and much more. At one time, sports games with a felt ball rolled into holes (sokor), driven with clubs (seken) and with wooden clubs (sukmar) were also widespread. The Bashkirs still pay special attention to equestrian sports. Such kinds as baiga, jigitovka, overcoming obstacles on a horse, horse races and races are widely known, and such popular games as kyz-kyuuu, auzarysh, kuk bure and kot-alyu are also played. Games and competitions for many centuries are included in the program of the big national holidays of Bashkortostan, such as sabantuy or kargatuy, and horse races are always an integral part of the festivities.

The continuity of traditions has become very important nowadays. And since 2022 a big process of support and financial assistance to national and non-Olympic kinds of sports has started in Bashkiria. Bashkiria's Minister of Sports Ruslan Khabibov made the announcement, speaking at the All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference dedicated to national sports. Also in 2022 on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum the Assembly of Peoples of Eurasia and the Government of the Republic of Bashkortostan signed an agreement on holding an international sports forum-competition on ethnic sports "Towards the Eurasian Games" in Ufa in 2023. From August 24 to 27, Ufa will become the capital of national and non-Olympic sports of the peoples of Eurasia. More than 700 strongest athletes from 30 countries will compete for medals. In the framework of the forum, competitions in national sports will take place: belt wrestling, arm-wrestling, mass wrestling and kettlebell lifting. And at the business conference the experts will discuss the achievements and tasks in the development of Russian and international sport, will work out the measures of support of national and non-Olympic kinds of sport with their practical realization.

According to Ilya Lomako, the General Director of the Directorate of Sport and Social Projects and Programs "Eurasian Games", joint work on such a large-scale project as the forum "Towards the Eurasian Games" will allow not only to fully realize the accumulated experience and potential of the national and non-Olympic movement in different countries, but also will become the beginning of a new way of development of physical culture and sport, based on the principles of respect, equality, honesty and friendship.



● Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly:

Global Diplomatic Group extend a huge gratitude to K. M. Alekseeva, Future Leader/Volunteer, the Foundation for Global Community Health!


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