World Celebrations: Racy Racing
Each week on World Music (Saturday nights from 8-10 on KSTX 89.1 FM), I take a look at celebrations happening around the world. This week, runners bare all to protest in Pamplona, and Turkish wrestlers grease up for a big competition.
THE RUNNING OF THE NUDES
The Running of The Bulls in Pamplona, Spain is now preceded each July by the Running of The Nudes. Sponsored by PETA (People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals), the event began in 2002 with 25 runners; today that number has escalated into the thousands. Some wearing only plastic horns and red necks scarves run the half-mile route that the bulls must follow, before they end up in the bull ring. Initially the locals were scandalized by the naked runners but today they hardly cause a ripple of disapproval. Supporters of the event are outraged by the cruelty endured by the bulls in the Spanish bull rings, and express their outrage in their very unique fashion.
Oil Wrestling in Turkey, is one of the world’s oldest bona fide, recognized competitive sports. The Kirkpinar tournament has been held continuously near Edirne since 1346, and takes place this year from July 1-7. Contestants wear a special pair of trousers, at one time made from water buffalo hide, and today made of calfskin. The fairly capacious garments are held in place by lacing to the waist. The fight begins after each combatant has thoroughly doused the other in olive oil. This is a courtesy gesture, as is that of a younger opponent kissing the hand of an older competitor who has been defeated. At one point in time, the fights could continue for days, but today there are strict time limits. The winner is the one who can completely control his opponent, and this immobilization is achieved by sticking the arm down the other’s pants--see it to believe it!
You can hear more about these and other celebrations happening around the world every Saturday night on World Music with Deirdre Saravia, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM.