5 Photos from Bhutan’s Strongman Competition

One of the highlights of Bhutan’s gathering of nomadic highlanders known as the Nomad Festival is the strongman competition where herders from the Himalayan frontiers and villagers near Bhutan’s Bumthang district compete (and drink Arra) to see who is the strongest.

Crowds at Bhutan's Strongman Competition

Crowds at Bhutan’s Strongman Competition

The crowds get excited — and I suspect wager a bit — about seeing who among them can best carry various 100 kilogram objects along a 100 meter course.

Carring a 100 Kilogram Log at Bhutan's Strongman CompetitionFirst comes the carrying the logs. This seemed to be the easiest task but just lifting these things without assistance was a challenge.

Carrying Tires at Bhutan's Nomad Festival

There are different ways of carrying the tractor tires.

Carrying Tires at Bhutan's Nomad FestivalAnything but rolling or dragging them is permitted. They must be lifted off of the ground.

Carrying a 100 kilogram Bag of Sand at Bhutan's Nomad FestivalFinally comes what appeared to be the hardest past, lugging a 100 kilogram bag of sand 100 meters. Resting is permitted and these guys certainly need it before they were finished. The guy in the lead here was finally the victor. I was invited to compete but uh, my lumbago was acting up and I had to bow out: besides, I have retired from competition.

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Author: Jonathan Look

In 2011 Jonathan Look decided to change his life and pursue adventures instead of comfort and possessions. His goal is to travel the world solo; one country at a time, one year at a time. To accomplish this he got rid of most of his possessions, packed up what little he saw as necessities and headed out. His goal is to spend ten years discovering new places, meeting new people and taking the time to learn about them, their values and their place on this tiny planet. He embraces the philosophy that says a person is the sum of their experiences and rejects the fraud of modern consumerism that makes people into slaves of their consumption. He doesn't intend to be modern day ascetic, just more mindful of his place in the world and to make decisions according to that new standard.

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