Ancient form of Pakistani sport developed to Greco-Roman wrestling

<Photo: Jamal Dawoodpoto>

Malakhro is the South Asian form of sport wrestling, mostly played in Pakistan and parts of India. The match begins with both wrestlers tying a twisted cloth, called Sandhro, around the opponent’s waist. Each one then holds onto the opponent’s waistcloth and tries to throw him to the ground. Malakhro is one of the favorite sports among males in Sindh province of Pakistan. Malakhro matches are generally held on holidays and are a main feature of all fairs and festivals. The feudal lords and influential persons patronize famous wrestlers and organize matches for them. The characteristic of the wrestling is that nobody hurts other and neither attack with their hand.

<Photo: Jamal Dawoodpoto>

The wrestlers come to the field dancing to the tune of drum beating and other folk music instruments. When the game is over, the winner and the looser hug each other and the looser accepts his defeat with open heart. This is wrestling without violence and is aimed at promoting peace, being the integral part of Sindhi culture.

<Photo: Jamal Dawoodpoto>

The Sindhi language word Malakhro is used for the whole of event wherein many rounds of traditional wrestling are played while a single round is called ‘Malhh’a and the wrestler is called Malhh’u.

<Photo: Jamal Dawoodpoto>

There are ten moves and techniques that Malhh’a player needs to know in order to compete. These include various types of trips, pulls, pushes and other moves to throw an opponent off balance, as well as moves to counteract such attacks. The goal is to have the opponent fall, and to pin him to the ground. A match involves two rounds and the winner is declared following the results of the second round.

<Photo: Jamal Dawoodpoto>

The ancient Sindhi form of wrestling is also played in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw provinces of Pakistan besides Afghanistan. Malhh’a is thought to date as far back as the Indus Valley Civilization, and is said by some to have led to the internationally popular Greco-Roman form of wrestling.

<Photo: Jamal Dawoodpoto>

Long before Pakistan became a separate country, Malhh’a was famous in Sindh. It had been a popular sport in the rural areas however British influence eventually led to cricket taking hold in the urban centers.

<Photo: Jamal Dawoodpoto>

The successive Pakistan governments also followed colonial trends supporting and promoting cricket, hockey, football and other games neglecting the local traditional ones. Currently, there are 83 locations in Sindh where Malakhro, or Malhh’a matches are held each year, all of which are associated with religious shrines.

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone