Thursday, July 7, 2011


Archery is the national sport of Bhutan. It is a team sport, each team of 11 members stand on opposite sides of a large field. Targets are wooden planks stood upright and are only about 30 inches high and no more than 10 inches wide. On the top half is painted a standard target although striking the wood anywhere constitutes a "hit." The teams "dugouts" (I don't know their real name) are placed 140 meters apart. Yes, that is one and a half football fields! They are small areas surrounded by flags and in the center sits the other teams target and a place to shoot from. The picture shows the target as seen by the shooter. 

Each team then shoots a number of arrows, about 25 I think, one team and then the other. If the target is missed, the other team breaks out in laughter and yells derogatory and insulting remarks, mocking the inaccuracy of the shooter. 

If on the other hand, the target is struck, noted by a loud "clack" of arrow against wood, then 4 or 5 members of the shooters team step forward into a circle and sing a celebratory song along with a little dance.

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