South Sudanese using wrestling as a tool to promote culture of peace and unity

[Repost from PanAfricanVisions.com]

on May 15, 2018  By Deng Machol

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[FILE PHOTO: Wrestlers from Jonglei and eastern lakes region take part in the South Sudan national wrestling competition for peace at Juba stadium, South Sudan, on April 20, 2016. South Sudan is holding a “wrestling for peace” tournament, bringing together athletes from around the country. Carl de Souza/AFP]

Juba – Hundreds of passionate wrestling fans in South Sudan thronged the capital Juba to witness the end of the country’s national wrestling competition among competitors from the various ethnic groups.

The wrestling was organized by South Sudan Wrestling Federation in collaboration with the ministry of culture, youth and sports with an aim to promote culture of peace and unity among the communities. That has drew hundreds of spectators including government officials.

The wrestling is a very popular sport among the Dinka, Mundari and Lotuka tribes of South Sudan.

The sport is seen as an avenue in bringing together people from the various warring tribes together.

On Saturday, May 12, 2018 the national wrestling march saw giant wrestlers from Terekeka States, Mundari ethnic – tribe emerging victors over their rivals – Dinka Bor from Jonglei States.

The Terekeka State’s wrestlers has managed wrestled down three Jonglei State’s wrestlers in row consecutively, secured a clear win, though Jonglei State gained momentum at the middle of wrestling, which 12 wrestlers from both side took part, but they didn’t manage handle Terekeka State’s wrestlers.

The game ended 5:3 in favour of Terekeka wrestlers who have been crowned champions for the 2018 wrestling federation.

The Jonglei State’s team has once been crowned champions since the wrestling took it shape in Juba stadium followed the independence of South Sudan.

Despite that Majok Jokriir, retired giant wrestler, who is currently coach of Jonglei State wrestling team, describes it as significant to the citizens of South Sudan and also significant to the ongoing peace process, urging South Sudanese to embrace peace and tranquility among themselves.

Wrestling is fought in all ethnic communities of the country has a very large fan [s] base.

Some excited fans urged organisers to consider a monthly wrestling tournament to bring people together.

“Wrestling is an amazing sport. It should be commercialist and should be weekly like European football leagues,” said one of the excited fan.

The Mundari, Dinka and others are Nilotic tribes, that are cattle oriented and they practice wrestling as part of their culture and tradition. They have seasonal initiation ceremonies, a stage of passage to adulthood in which they conduct activities like wrestling, use of sticks and facial scarification consisted on their foreheads.

These ethnic – tribes still want to maintain their culture around the world, showing off their traditional customs in spite the ongoing conflict.

The wrestlers wore leopard print skirt flapping and as well as feathers of ostrich on their heads.

More so, as the youngest country in East Africa, South Sudan is in the middle of a civil war which has claimed the lives of thousands of people while rendering millions homeless, elites are trying to forge peace through social activities.

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