Shillong: Meghalaya’s first-ever wooden cart race was held at Kharang village in East Khasi Hills District on Saturday with hundreds of people participating in the event.
The event which is called the Khasi Hills Challenge 1.0 started off with a cycle ride early Saturday morning with 19 cyclists participating in it. The riders had to cover five laps totalling 30 km. The winning cash price was Rs 10,000, which was awarded to Kevin Khyllait.
The wooden cart race was a much-awaited programme after extensive promotions were made, encouraging locals to be a part of the challenge.
Wooden cart race or locally called ‘Kali Ball Bearing’ is a type of transport that is used by the tribals in Meghalaya. Some use it to transport essentials and other goods, while the majority use it for transporting cans of water.
On Saturday morning, the green hills of Kharang village slowly started filling with colours as several people, either as spectators, family or a friend cheering for the participants, started gathering at the site which saw participation by several men.
Many chose to bring their own cart on which it was evident that many had spent time in coming up with unique designs. Some chose to give their cart a four-wheel truck look with number plates to make it even more attractive. The added bonus was that the participants would be awarded a cash price for their works of art.
Meghalaya Sports Minister Banteidor Lyngdoh flagged off the race. Each cart could have two participants – one could either ride or push the cart or exchange among themselves. As the carts passed by the spectators, the cheering got louder, boosting the morale of the participants.
Speaking with EastMojo, Lyngdoh said this was the first-ever such race in the northeast. “This is a kind of traditional thing that the people use. We are trying to encourage people to not only use the cart for carrying water but also for different purposes,” said Lyngdoh.
The cash price for the cart race was Rs 20,000 for the first position, Rs 10,000 for the second and third position for Rs 5,000.
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