For those of you who thought Pakistan’s women are weak, feeble and spend their lives at home; think again. Yes, while some of them do, others come out and fight.
Meet the country’s women wrestlers or Kabbadi players, as they are locally known. Bet you didn’t see that coming from a country commonly associated with violent extremism and militancy
Kabaddi is South Asia’s traditional tag-wrestling sport and until recently only men had the chance to tackle each other to the ground, but now the women can get their hands dirty.
The Asian sport’s name derives from the Tamil words ‘kai’ (hand) and ‘pidi’ (catch).
While their tactics may seem clumsy from the images, there is a method to the madness. Two teams occupy opposite halves of a field and take turns sending one person to tackle opposing members. The ‘raider’ must return to his/her own side while chanting the word "Kabaddi" the whole time.
Some of these hard-core women come from conservative, religious families but they have not let that come between them and fulfilling their dreams.
“Getting the national colors was my childhood dream. I am going to India to fight a do-or-die battle for my nation and prove that Pakistani girls can do everything women do in other countries,” 24-year-old Sayeda Fareeda Khanum told AFP.
Pakistan isn’t the only Islamic Republic that participates in this sport. Check out Iran’s national women’s team take down a Thai ‘raider.’
This sport is popular amongst women in India as well. This photo shows women competing in India’s Tamil Nadu state.
Here you can see the Indian national team taking on Malaysia, another Muslim majority country, in a fiercely contested battle.
Traditionally it’s considered a macho sport where men get to tackle each other half naked – as ‘macho’ as that sounds.
It must be a fun sport because it has picked up in all parts of the world including Japan, Thailand, Australi and the UK (especially amongst the South Asian diaspora communities).
Check out these white guys playing Kabaddi in Idaho Falls Idaho.