Locals crowded our galleries, blocking our view, the tourists claim

“Very chaotic,” “too crowded,” “no place to sit,” “could not see anything,” — these were the reactions of some foreign tourists who attended the Alanganallur Jallikattu near Madurai on Thursday.

Tourism department officials vacated many local spectators from the foreign guests’ gallery around 9 am to seat foreigners.

But those who came in a little late could not watch the event as the locals continued to swarm the gallery, despite the police manning the entry point.

Rachel (65), a retired school teacher from Israel, said it was difficult for her and her friends to watch the event as the gallery was crowded. Patrick Prou (60) of France, who had come with his wife, also expressed disappointment.

“It was not interesting. We could not see any action. Too many people were there without tickets and licences like this,” said Milana Zivkov of Croatia, pointing to a foreign tourist pass given to her by tourism department officials. Seventy-four-year old Collean from the United Kingdom said the bull-taming sport was quite interesting. “The bulls look good and well fed. But I am not sure what they [bull tamers] are exactly trying to do because nobody tells us anything. There is also no place to sit here.”

An Australian tourist went missing and her team-mates spent a few anxious moments before she was traced. Since a public address system was not available in the foreigners’ gallery, the police directed them to the gallery meant for local VIPs.

Asked for his opinion on the sport, Volker (69) from Germany said: “It was neither good nor bad because to me it looked more like taming of the boys [tamers] than the bulls.”

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