Wife Carrying Competetion
Wife carrying is a sport in which male competitors race while each carrying a female teammate. The objective of this sport is for the male to carry the female through a special obstacle track in the fastest time. The sport was first introduced at Sonkajärvi, Finland.
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According to the rules, the two don’t really need to be married: “The wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbor’s, or you may have found her farther afield she must, however, be over 17 years of age.”
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The objective - The male/female team making it through the special obstacle track in the fastest time wins the day. The world champions receive the equivalent of the wife’s weight in beer, a bag full of wife-carrying products ,a statue with a wife-carrying motif and of course, world-wide fame. Prizes are also given to second- and third-place teams and for most entertaining couple, best costume and strongest carrier.
It's a tribute to wife-carrying's popularity that it has attained a category in the Guinness Book of Records.
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The contest, which has been running since 1992 and apparently has as its inspiration yesteryear’s rather less savoury custom of pillaging wives from neighbouring villages, promises the chance to show off everything that’s manly about men, and also throws in the ultimate prize for the winning couple – the wife’s weight in beer! And given the women taking part must be at least seventeen years old and weigh a minimum of 49kg to qualify, that’s a lot of beer.
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Now in Asia - Ecorun India, a society for creating environmental awareness organized Wife Carrying Race in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India, Asia on January 1, 2011. The event is called "BHAARYAASAMETHAM" roughly translated as 'with your wife', in the local language 'Malayalam'. The society plans on conducting more such events every year in India. Wife carrying in Asia is also called matukinina.
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The championships get a special mention on their own section of Sonkajarvi’s town web site, which even includes press clippings claiming the health benefits of wife carrying. The web site also carries directions for becoming a Master in Wife Carrying – of which one of the key requirements appears to be ‘eroticism’. This year’s competition takes place on 6th and 7th July.
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