Baneshwar Fair III – Competitions

21. February 2019



On this last day of the Baneshwar Fair, the big highlights were the competitions. The competitors and their families/friends gathered in a kind of open-air arena. A high-ranking politician was a VIP guest and sat with other people on a shaded stage.




First there was a tug of war. It felt like there were an infinite number of teams at the start, pulling against each other from one side and then the other. The changeover and the change of tug-of-war participants took a long time. But everyone was totally committed to the rope and pulled with all their might, putting their feet in the dust.


winners pull the rope


the loosers


also men were pulling the rope


The next competition was for women only. They ran over a course with the pot (matka) on their head without holding on. The first one with the pot on her head made it to the final, where the winner was determined.


before starting


The Matkas are falling….


Then there was an interlude where women showed off their traditional clothing.


different dresses


Then there was a competition for men only: turban wrapping.


The competitors wrap


work is done


And then finally came my highlight: the dance competition! Many, many groups dressed relatively identically and with their own drum team danced similar dances with sabres, sticks, arrows and the like in a circle. Some teams had women in them, some didn’t. I liked it a lot. But I could never have said which group did it best. Most of the people on this stage around the politician had score sheets in their hands and had to award points.


The Whites


The Reds


The Violet-Colourfuls


The other Whites


The Pinks


The Reds won. And then we were tired enough and made our way back. Everything turned out differently than expected – and after changing my attitude, I really enjoyed everything. But one day really is enough.