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Happy Atheletes In Bhutan

These two  events were  not on our tour agenda.

On our first full day in Bhutan, we found two towns involved in an archery tournament. Archery is the national sport. I was simply not prepared for what we saw.

bhutan archer

The archers were of course all dressed in traditional garb. The bows and arrows however were ultra modern and probably cost more than my first car.

These guys were all first rate archers, who had earned the right through years of experience to compete for the town they are from. What I found particularly interesting was that when others were shooting, they would drift away and drink beer and smoke cigarettes! What a cool sport!

Can you see the target? It is 150 meters away and not very big. This makes Olympic archery look like playing cowboys and Indians with a Sears and Roebuck toy set.

As you might imagine, when an archer actually hits the the target it is cause for song and dance. No really, song and dance! Play the following video for “proof”.

I am going to jump ahead a few days. The day of the week is important here. It was a Tuesday, which is “Walking Day” in Bhutan. Private cars are not allowed to be driven. The king asks his people to get off their duffs and walk to work or the market.

In a small town in the mountains (well, Bhutan is mostly small towns in the mountains, but…) we ran across a tournement of taxi drivers playing each other in the second national sport of Bhutan, darts.  I am not talking about darts like in some pub. These were serious darts.

darts in Bhutan

They probably weighed a half pound. You cannot see the needle part, which are about 6 inches long.

They were thrown by serious men!

darts in Bhutan

They took this competition in a really good sportsman like manner.

Like the archery this was not an easy sport.

They really had to chuck it  The effort resembled a baseball pitcher.

The target was further away then home plate and much smaller, and the dart weighed more than a baseball.

Of course when they hit the target they sang and danced. Only here, the opposing team members got to harass them a bit!

Next post…hmmm…well, all I’ll promise is  more from the land of the Thunder Dragon. Stay tuned.

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3 Responses so far.

  1. Vividhunter says:

    Awesome. Love the dancing and sports ^^

  2. steve says:

    I used to do archery at school. Don’t think I could have got the arrow that far, let alone hit anything

  3. Dorreene says:

    Interesting to see the “traditional garb” includes running shoes.

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