The child in many adults refused to lie dormant as they watched with interest the traditional ‘paale vaipuni’, a rural sport in which one child sits on the areca sheath and the other pulls it. Many adults were also tempted to take part in the event. The sporting arena at the World Tulu Convention on Saturday was so charged that many women took part in the sporting events. After the initial hesitation, they grouped themselves and tried to compete with children even as the crowd whistled and clapped. “They found it very inspiring and wanted to relive their childhood,” said Bala Bhaskar, who is in charge of the arrangements for the sporting events.
More attractive for men was ‘tharai kutuna’, a sporting event in which two men vie for the supremacy of the coconut in their possession. Said to be akin to cock-fighting, men bang each other’s coconut with force. This goes on till one of the coconuts breaks.
A person witnessing the sport said some plants are known to yield very strong coconut and some Tharai Kuttuna players can tell the strong from the weak and are ready to pay even up to Rs. 150 a piece. The winner gets the possession of loser’s coconut as well. Another onlooker said in village fairs, people bet big sums on their favourite players.
What revived the memory of some was the demonstration of ‘kadone hande’ – traditional equipment made of bamboo that produces cracker-like sound when a heated rod is dipped in the kerosene at one end. Vishwanath Bellipady, a civil contractor form Puttur told The Hindu over phone that the ‘kadone hande’ was commonly used during festivals years ago. He said he organises a demonstration of the traditional equipment for his children during Deepavali festival even now. The other rural sporting events at the venue included ‘lagori’, lifting of boulders, ‘chennemane’ and ‘chakra budpuni’ or races involving rolling of used tyres or wooden wheel. According to Mr. Bhaskar, 500 people have taken part in the sporting events organised as part of the World Tulu Convention which began on Thursday.