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World Nomad Games | The Sports

Competition and sportsmanship are an integral piece of the nomadic tradition and Central Asian culture.  Most of the sporting events at the World Nomad Games have their roots in practical skills required by people living on and with the land.  Traditionally, hunters and shepherds would develop their skills for reasons of survival and efficiency, but a strong competitive streak also brought people together to test their skills against one another.   Now, there is both an art and ferocity to the sports that are practiced and displayed during the World Nomad Games.

Horse Races and Wrestling are the most popular events, with the highest number of competitors.  More traditional and unique events include those that focus on the finesse of hunting, such as falconry and archery.  Even outside of the games, falconry demonstrations and archery practice are intriguing tourist attractions that can usually be arranged through guesthouses or travel agencies.  Another popular event is the infamous polo-like game, played with a headless goat, called Buzkashi or Kok Boru (Kyrgyz).  This event draws a large crowd of wide-eyed wonderers as the players display incredible strength and agility on the “taikazan”, or playing field.  Kok Buru matches are frequently held throughout the country, especially on holidays or long weekends in the warmer parts of the year.

The wide variety of games and skill-based training that captures attention is a distinctive aspect of Central Asian culture.  Foreigners who are willing to try out these games are readily welcomed!  Be ready for an intense competition, however, during an unforgettable experience and immediate acceptance within a new group of friends.   

Ruby Mitchell

Online Content Editor @ White Leopard Travel Co.

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