Home | News    Tuesday 25 November 2008

Jonglei’s Bor organizes first wrestling in 43 years

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By Philip Thon Aleu

November 24, 2008 (BOR TOWN) — An estimated two hundred thousands (200,000) people turned up for a cultural wrestling in Bor on Saturday depicting stronghold of Dinka preserved norms in 21st century’s generations. The wrestling, which ends peacefully, is the first and most sized in forty-three (43) years.

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Bor the capital of Jonjlei state witnessed the first and most sized wrestling in forty-three (43) years. Nov 23, 2008 (Photo by Ph. Thon Aleu, ST)

Cultural entertainments were halted by Sudan’s civil war, ended by 9th January, 2005 peace deal known as the Compressive Peace Agreement. In Dinka Bor culture, wrestling is practice by male from childhood and the pyramid narrows with ages.

The weekend wrestling takes place at Wun-cuei (4 miles north of Bor Town). This is were youths were always captured by Government troops during the war and killed for reasons including being Southern Sudanese and likely future Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

Things seem to have normalized in the first three years of peace given the turn-up. The competition attracted people of all ages, varying social, economic and political status, tribes as well as non-citizens to Wun-cuei. Dinka Bor citizens traveled to State capital Bor Town from ends far as Juba, Yei, Kaya and Nimule.

Those crippled by resources attended the competition live on phones. Cars, motorcycles, bicycles and thousands of pedestrians started matching to the site as early as 2am to secure suitable positions to witness the historical event.

Two men who brought this tremendous population here are Ajang Ngong Oka, 28, (also known as Taban) from Guala and Majok Jok-riir, 30, from Angakwei, Bor County Payams of Kolnyany and Baidit respectively.

They drew after a three minutes fight thought to have been brief by spectators but too long for the active participants. However, Majok side won after this next man, Alier Majur brought down a feared rival Kur Makol.

Fourth and fifth positions were won by Taban’s team as third and sixth men draw. This is the first competition between the two sub-clans since 1965 that went in today’s winner favor. The giants then were Ayuen Awuor Chol (Baidit) and Achiek Mabil Anyang (Kolnyang).

The weekend competition attendance however, surprised many people. If all men and women understand road regulation, then traffic police intervention could have necessarily deployed three miles before the pitch. Over 300 police persons controlled the crowd which went wild at the end of every losing wrestling, though not all who reached Wun-cuei watched the wrestlers due to overcrowding and high limits.

A good number of people obtained substantial injuries from collapsing trees branches, clearing of pitch by police and numerous camera men who nearly distributed the competition. Dust covered the sky during dancing forming thin clouds.

Girls dress in traditional attires, smearing red sand (locally known as wan) on their faces and arms, and wear traditional beads around their waist. Wrestling men wear leopard skin, national flag(s).

The energetic men and women sing traditional songs of courage and superiority; jump over long distances in excitement and above all display the best colored bulls. This is where men choose beautiful girls who in turn figure out the best performing men.

The competition however, is at a confluence of modernity and pure traditions. Wrestlers, unlike in the past, have taken up other jobs in the society. Angakwei top man Majok Jok is a professional driver and Guala Ajang-Taban works as a contractor with World Food Programs. Wrestlers did not do any other jobs in the past apart from remaining in cattle camps and representing their clans in strength. Unlike today’s sports, entry to the wrestling site on the other hand is a free of charge.

Tens of cattle had died during the pre-competition days to step-up fattening in young men. More cattle were slaughtered on Sunday for celebration on both sides. At Malual-agoor-bar (7 miles south of Bor Town), celebrations started immediately after one of wrestlers’ father, Dhieu Mabiei received a phone call declaring his son, Mawut Dhieu one of the best wrestlers.

Sudan Tribune reached the village Saturday evening where celebrations went on through Sunday. Residents here celebrated the victory with cheers and tears. Cheers for the young man’s successful wrestling and tears in memory of July 2000’s killings of seven age mates by government troops controlling Bor Town then. Meanwhile, Baidit celebrated an overall champion in Bor Town and villages as far their headquarters. In those years (during the war), residents say, wrestling was unthought-of and life was too difficult for young people.

(ST)

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  • 25 November 2008 04:30, by Garang Ayang Kuoi

    Thon Aleu,

    Thanks for reporting on this historic cultural event. It is a part of our pride and I am profoundly glad that culture is maintain to the highest level of all. In fact, I know Majok in person, he is a hard working guy who has been sharing his wrestling and going to school for a while. I might have beeb a kid when he started westling in 1994 but I remember that he went upto eightth grade in Baidit primary school. I don’t know about Taban but I am told that he went to school as well. We are therefore proud of them and may God bless them. In addition, You should post some of the videos on youtube so that we those who are not at home should have fun too.

    gayang@svc.edu

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  • 25 November 2008 06:06, by Mr Famous Big_Logic_Boy

    Oh my God people are taking themselves back to 18 century. What is the important of this fake art, don’t distance yourselves from what the rest of the people are thinking about, I would accept this if there is a high engement of the two sides, ie murle and bor , and if it is going to benenfit or bring an end to the cattle riding and child abduction in bor. But if not, then you better stop it and come to the modern side.

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    • 25 November 2008 07:00, by tayeb M. Alhassan

      I Love them!!!!

      This is a true sign of peace reflect in the peoples bodies and minds. it widely shows that life has already gone back to normal seeing young men playing innocent games instead of marching with loaded guns in military parades. We are a wrestling nation practise that type of sport, as well as other night games, allover Sudan. I hope modern life will not take us out of all other heritage games we already abandoned during the years of war.

      Give them a yell to do it well!!

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    • 26 November 2008 04:40, by Pandit

      Hey illogic:
      No one will appreciated your negative attitude toward other groups. Please stop insulting other people and do your own business. Bor and Murle are greatest communities of Southern Sudan as well as whole Sudan. We are proud of our beautiful sudanese cultures. Sudanese people can carried out apto to be modernized wrestling. My question to you have you ever watched an American great wrestlers, such as Undertaker, Big Show, John Senar, Curte Angle, Brock and Rock? Is America not a modern country? Please let your mouth shut and do what is best for you. You better to tell us in order to help you if you have been diagnosed with mental disorder.

      The writer is believing in free society within united Sudan, such as decentralization of power/country, power sharing which will be presented by an elected officials, freedom of speech, and check and balance.
      The Head of any power should be elected by the citizens of that place, not be appointed by the President of the country. Competition will carry our nation to modernization very quick than keeping one person in power.

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  • 25 November 2008 07:31, by J.James

    Mr. Logic

    Everybody now seem to ignore you because of your negative childish provocative comments. I don’t know why do you always want to see Bor and Murle in war, what devilic heart do you have?

    Let me I advice you, Bor and Murle have been good friends before arabs’ policy of divide and rule came into effect, and I see that you don’t understand that. In addition, Murle and Bor are not fools for them to keep on killing each other for ever. If they wound have been bitter enemies, they would have not live in one state or share grazing lands. Remeber there is always time for everything as its writen in ecclesiates if you know anything about Bible, there is time for war and time for peace.

    So if keep your ears open to hear Murle and Bor in war, you may wait it for your entire life. I think you better mind your own damn business.

    Copy that puppy.

    God bless

    The writer is the former north south war veteran who freed Logic from arab slavery. Now you can cross Juba bridge at night.

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    • 25 November 2008 07:45, by Chier Akueny

      Dear Tayeb Alhassan,
      I think, this is a kind of sport and it is good if the communities recommend it and respect the rules set to guide the priciples of wrestling.

      for me, I can say that it is good for the communities to continue since it will never involve some fighting after defeat, like football whereby defeated team may train well and come back to defeat its opponents.

      Thanks

      Chier Akueny of Ten States,

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      • 25 November 2008 10:15, by tayeb M. Alhassan

        Dear Chier Akueny

        As far as I know that Nuba wrestling game has already been under official organize in Omdurman, Sennar and many other places that I may not know. Tourists usually come to attend wrestling seasons that start to make sounds to be known out of Sudan. I met many of them making documentaries and of course they usually pay revenues which we hope not to find tunnels to corruptive pockets.

        As for over react to fight after defeat, HAHAHAHA that is also a civil indivdual behavior in all cases not related to war. it occasionally happens due to human psychology not only in Sudan but Europeans also involved. It happened many times by the British Hooligans during Europe football Cup Matches.

        Any how we are improving since we began to remember our good past.

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        • 25 November 2008 13:42, by HONEY

          i love my culture, i wish i was there to witness it personally and also join in the usual dance after wrestling. wow

          Thanks Thon Aleu.

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          • 25 November 2008 14:29, by Julia Anok

            WOW;what a great it look like sumo;japanese wrestling and many other types of sports, i would urge Goss to builtup the studium in Bor,Rumbek,Kuajok,Aweil and Malakal so that the gathering communities should enter with payment and with medication care for wrestler.

            wow true conservative HONEY if he was there to dance too.May God bless our cultural keepers and thank mr Aleu.

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    • 27 November 2008 11:34, by Axan

      James,

      You got it all. Once I was a child in early 80’s I used to listen to elders conversing about great relationships they once had with Murle in the past, and that is exactly what you have just related. Sure, there is time for everything. War times are war times, and if this happens between Murle and Bor, there is what causes it and it will be over. The same is with peace time...the wars that were fought between these tribes in the near past would not be used by idiots like this guy called himself Illogic, to alienate our bright future.

      So, good note on that my friend.

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  • 25 November 2008 16:32, by M.Deng Makuei

    Dear Logic,

    Your jealousness can do no harm to the people of Bor and the entire Dinka community so continue to hate them.

    Am proud to be Bor-Dinka the strong,wise, loving and the people of a decent cultures

    I don’t care about what you think we are because the whole world knows who we are

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    • 26 November 2008 03:13, by TRUEMAN

      BaaiBor is on its’ feet again after many years of war.
      It inject alot of hope when seeing youngmen wrestling as usual.
      In God’s mercy we shall never extinct.

      May God bless them.

      BY Trueman.

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      • 26 November 2008 04:39, by Pandit

        Hey illogic:
        No one will appreciated your negative attitude toward other groups. Please stop insulting other people and do your own business. Bor and Murle are greatest communities of Southern Sudan as well as whole Sudan. We are proud of our beautiful sudanese cultures. Sudanese people can carried out apto to be modernized wrestling. My question to you have you ever watched an American great wrestlers, such as Undertaker, Big Show, John Senar, Curte Angle, Brock and Rock? Is America not a modern country? Please let your mouth shut and do what is best for you. You better to tell us in order to help you if you have been diagnosed with mental disorder.

        The writer is believing in free society within united Sudan, such as decentralization of power/country, power sharing which will be presented by an elected officials, freedom of speech, and check and balance.
        The Head of any power should be elected by the citizens of that place, not be appointed by the President of the country. Competition will carry our nation to modernization very quick than keeping one person in power.

        repondre message

        • 26 November 2008 05:59, by Michael Madit Magot

          This is indeed a historic event ever conducted since and before the war.
          We thank God our culture is being once more practised with great vigor.
          Hope does not fade when anyone or community does not give up.
          During the war many were not expecting to see something called wrestling-our favourite.

          Some acquired education during the liberation and we are well-off than other tribes.
          Since we all know the important of education our wrestlers will not merely dwell on wrestling and cows.

          God Bless BaaiBor!

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        • 26 November 2008 06:32, by SudanSudan

          Hello and thank you to you all guys out there around the globe for appreciating our making in the history. I read all your responses and I thanked those who made good and productive discussions. We as a people of Sudan and Jieng/Monyjang (Dinka) in particular are unique and special because we have a rich culture and traditions that cannot be found anywhere on Earth. At the same time we share others common good with the world around us and therefore we should always remember that we have a place and responsibility to promote ourselves. Even though we may modify some parts of this culture, the language and the way we do things must maintained if we wanted to still remain Monyjang.

          I am glad that a true Dinka wrestling has taken place and that both side have accepted the outcome as we all know now and that people have maintained peacefulness after all. In our culture, a winner and loser is not always the best and worst of us all respectively, but the outcome to the circumstance. A young man can lost a girl to another man but than man will always remain as who he is. Our culture is superior compared to other things and that is why we should always do everything possible to maintain and promote its survival and progress especially in this modern era. So let us not be inclined by others culture influence and neglect what we already have. Does any one know how long it will take a new comer to learn and fully understand the meaning of a new culture? Never! One can learn a language but could not be fluency like a native born into a language. We understand our culture 100% and we love it to continue.

          The emergence of Dinka wrestling especially in Bor is a good sign of a real peace in effect. Peace exists when people think of what they have and how to advance it. We are all hoping that decades of killing and persecution are gone and that people’s lives return to normalcy; that youth and children resume the fight of maintaining and advancing the culture. I am a little older than the two young men, Majok, and Ajang (Taban) who championed this past wrestling, and for that, I felt like I have part of me back home performing the Dinka culture. Please continue to be good ambassador to our culture and maintain productive dialogue then avoid negative participants who derail good discussions away from people’s attention. Thank you all.

          Manyang

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          • 28 November 2008 04:59, by julius mowanga

            I would like to correct Mr,illogic logically.If you think that,there is no need for maintaining or enhancing our traditional sports and customs,once it’s not associated with hateful,tribal conflicts!!!,then how can we promote the acceptance of the others,in all aspects of life?It’s"the wrestling" a one of the Public Democracy,called the bridge between the peoples.It spreads the bilateral conception of living in peaceful society among its variety.Democracy starts from grassroots of the nations,enhanced by local sports,not by a decree from the leaders.I hope that,you get it..Peace out..

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            • 28 November 2008 07:48, by Moses Kuocgoor

              Stop being jealous about other people’s culture! Instead we want to change that as a game to generate money. Bor is a famous community within Dinka. I think we should not underline their heritage traditional game. We need to encourage them to make it more. I agree with wise individuals who supported the game. I think modern does not changed anything, but it is to model what we have owned in our culture. Most communities do not have famous games that is why they do not show of. In general, I would like to advise those who feel jealous against Bor community. Let them do what they have their tradition. This is a part of their their own culture. Anyway happy thanksgiving.

              View online : Reply

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              • 28 November 2008 19:45, by Takpiny

                wrestling not from Bor people alone it had been practice back more decades and currentely in lake state and cier of Mangalla.

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