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An ancient martial tradition in Bhutanese culture, handy in war and competitive sports, archery is a fascinating national skill, which requires precision and deep concentration to make your mark.
An ancient martial tradition in Bhutanese culture, handy in war and competitive sports, archery is a fascinating national skill, which requires precision and deep concentration to make your mark. Learn how these traits can be useful assets in many aspects of life. The tradition of archery in Bhutan is also a means of socialization, communication, and development of relations between people. The excitement generated by the competition at the Archery Match at the Changlimithang Archery Ground in Thimpu can be pretty infectious. Savour the rich atmospherics and spectacle of colour and competition as you watch the edgy sport play itself out, offering you another delightful insight into Bhutanese culture. Archery was declared the national sport in 1971 and officially there is an Olympic archery team as well now.
We arrive at Changlimithang Archery Ground which is all bustle and laughter as the lively crowds of spectators in the stands get ready for the treat that is afforded by expert archers and their teams in combat to walk away with the top prizes. Later you will get an opportunity to meet and even get a tip or two from these experts. And you never know you might even want to learn the sport and not be just content being a bystander.
Archery tournaments in Bhutan feature players in their full national costume, and they are not passive sportsmen either. You will watch them shout with delight at getting a point, hoot when the opposition misses a target and dance with delight when they make a hit on the target. Traditional bows and arrows are used, but more modern versions are also being used now. The dexterity of some of the competitors and the speed of the arrows can leave you in awe. The highpoint of the action at end of it is the celebratory victory dance by the winning team.
Images Credit - Alphonso Partners
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