The 4th Ethnosports Culture Festival that kicked off Thursday is one of the biggest events to combine sports and culture in Istanbul.
It attracted a huge crowd on its first day and offers a great weekend experience to get familiar with new cultures and old traditions.
At a massive venue at the city's Atatürk Airport, which recently hosted popular technology festival Teknofest, the Ethnosports allows participating countries to showcase their ancient, ethnic sports.
For four days, teams from each participating country have performed sports, from wrestling to mounted archery, in front of a large audience.
The second day of the festival opened with mounted javelin performance. It was followed by a kökbörü competition where riders tried to catch a "şikar" or a runaway goat from each other. A team from Azerbaijan performed horseback stunts while another team from Argentine introduced visitors to pato, a blend of basketball and polo.
The day ended with horseback archery stunts of riders from participating countries. Sixteen countries, including Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Palestine, Georgia, Kosovo, Mongolia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ukraine and Yemen take part at the event. Some countries sent sports teams while others are represented with delegations showcasing their cultural customs and cuisines.
In another part of the venue, wrestlers competed throughout the day in various disciplines of the sports, from aba and belt to oil wrestling, each distinct from one another and each have roots in the Turkic world. In another corner, visitors watched a ceremony to "welcome the bride" and a ceremony to celebrate the birth of a new child. In workshops, they learn and practice how to shoot arrows and if they are hesitant, they can watch professionals practice. The festival will end on Sunday evening.
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