Saria Kanawati,

Around the globe, we are of different colors, cultures, traditions, and values. Most of the Westerners are amazed by our bizarre culture, specifically in sports; but have they ever taken a second to realize how peculiar some of their indigenous sports are? You would be surprised by how crazy some of these unheard-of activities are.

Wife Carrying

Moving all the way across to Finland, there is an ecstatically fun sport called Wife Carrying. Its festival is held annually in July, where a man is to traverse a 253.5 meter-course, which includes various surfaces of dry land and water obstacles, while carrying his wife on his back during the shortest time possible. The wife doesn’t really have to be the woman whom the participant is married to. However, she needs to be over the age of 17, and above 49 kilos. Moreover, if the wife is dropped, he would pay a 15 additional seconds as fine. The prize would be a new mobile phone along with his wife’s weight in beer! How exotic can the Finns get?

Bossaball

Another sport that was invented in Belgium, but is native to the African-Brazilians, is called Bossaball. It’s a beautiful hybrid between volleyball, beach soccer, gymnastics, and capoeira (the martial arts dance). It’s played on a specially-designed inflatable court with a circular trampoline on each side of the net. Some of the rules include 8 touches per possession; double touch is allowed, but not by your hands; the teams are awarded 3 points if scored while using trampoline, but only 1 otherwise. The match is played till a team scores 25 points, and a total of 3 matches per set. It has got to be one of the most intriguing and amusing sports.

Camel Racing

Starting off, one of the things that most identifies us Arabs is anything that has to do with camels. Therefore, camel racing is definitely a sport associated with the Arab world. It originated in Saudi Arabia, but later spread to the Gulf and the rest of the Arab countries. It is exactly like horseback riding races, except desert beasts are replacing the horses. This might be completely normal to us. To the Westerners, however, it’s so strange that most of the souvenirs they buy from our countries have something to do with a camel.

Beer Can Regatta

Ending the tour in Australia, in Darwin, one of the places with the highest beer consumption, the residents of the town came up with a twisted use for empty beer cans. In a sport-like event called Beer Can Regatta, the people are to build a boat from the aluminum. When the boat is ready, it is to race from the beach to a specified target, and back. The boat is empowered by human paddlers. Back in 1986, this event gathered more than 20,000 spectators! Could be just an excuse to drink even more beer?

 Camel Wrestling

As we share some common traditions, culture, and food with our Turkish neighbors, they also took our camel idea and elaborated on it. They came up with something called Camel Wrestling, and it’s an official sport held every year in January in Selcuk, where two male camels are to fight together for a female one nearby. The two males keep fighting till one of them drops. This hints on how depreciative of the woman and aggressive the Turks are. No wonder the Ottomans invaded us for 400 years!