阿曼傳統活動

阿曼政府在積極規劃國內現代化建設的同時,也同時在努力地保存著傳統活動。而直至今日在阿曼仍能欣賞到鬥牛、駱駝比賽、傳統歌舞等傳統活動,也因此獲得觀光客的青睞。 

鬥牛
在阿曼北部城鎮,沙塵飛揚的土地上,牛隻是首要被用來戰鬥的工具。

鬥牛,是阿曼農村每週五下午固定舉行的活動。在阿爾巴塔哈(Al Bataha-- 一個迷人的漁村,距離首都Muscat只需一小時的車程 -- 空氣中充滿了熱情興奮之氣。這個傳統的村莊裡,聚集了各種可替代牛鈴的臨時用品。職業鬥牛的鼻氣聲、怒吼聲,傳達了戰鬥的渴望。塵土紛亂地揚起,瀰漫著牛隻的氣味,對於阿爾巴塔哈居民來說,表演正式開始!

 

第一回合是很短的。兩隻八百磅重的鬥牛正面迎擊,如雷的踏腳聲及野獸般的怒吼聲把觀眾們環繞包圍。如同戰士般在塵土上進行小型的戰爭-衝刺、推擠、猛擊。公牛的一個靈巧的側邊衝刺使其對手失去了平衡倒在塵土中,此時勝利的公牛會移動至對手邊,在其對手面頰上再行一擊。而觀眾們則是給予勝利的公牛熱烈的支持歡呼。以上的這些過程不過三分鐘的時間。裁判宣佈此回合終止後,戰勝及戰敗的公牛被帶開會場,裁判即會簡短的宣布勝利公牛及其飼主的大名。

 

接下來有許多回合,有更多的公牛彼此相鬥。能在一連串場次的鬥牛賽拔得頭籌者,即可獲得最後的總冠軍。但總冠軍沒有任何戰利品或勝利彩帶,只有一個簡單儀式的宣布勝利者的大名。但對於此地居民而言,如此就能獲得足夠的名譽及名聲,而對公牛及其主人而言,這是一種 榮耀的象徵。在此區域的傳統,贏得鬥牛賽,即為高社會地位的象徵。

 

鬥牛的起源是眾說紛紜的,但這項活動已經流傳幾世紀了。隨著農業科技的發展,公牛的傳統功能已被現代機械器具所取代,特別是抽水系統的引進取代了公牛傳統上的農業灌溉工作,而犁及拖拉機的到來,更使得牛隻頓時失去了傳統的農業功能。漸漸地,牛隻的養殖只是為了食用。

 

但在近年,鬥牛運動似又漸漸流行,在阿爾巴塔哈部分濱海地區重整旗鼓。這要感謝社會團體提倡的『文化復興』,使大眾又漸漸地察覺阿曼豐富的文化傳統。而鬥牛這項傳統運動又在各區漸漸風行起來。所以若您正好在有舉行鬥牛賽的城鎮,請別忘了詢問鬥牛的時間及地點,一起來參與這充滿傳統阿拉伯風情的活動!

 
阿曼國慶

在阿曼國慶(1118日)前後,街道上會掛滿國王卡布斯的照片、國旗及各式各樣的道路裝飾,把城市點綴得熱鬧非凡。在國慶當天,國內各級學校學生會有傳統民俗舞蹈表演、城市舉行聯歡晚會、煙火表演等。國王蘇丹卡布斯是日也會對全國民眾發表未來一年施政目標與展望的演說。街道上盡是穿著傳統服飾的遊行慶祝人潮,男士穿著白長袍,腰繫彎刀,頭帶圓帽,手持長槍 ; 女士們則著鮮豔傳統服飾,一起上街遊行慶祝。而鄰近首都的Seeb(錫柏)每年國慶的時候也會舉行駱駝比賽。

 傳統舞蹈及歌曲

在阿曼境內每區都擁有屬於當地特色的歌曲及舞蹈。

Sharqiya區,依其區內不同的環境,有三種主要的歌曲海洋之歌、沙漠之歌、都市之歌。海洋之歌反映了當船隻準備航行、航行旅途中、及歸回家鄉的情景,海洋之歌就有八種 ; 沙漠之歌通常讚揚駱駝的強健。在節日慶典時,每區代表就會表演當區最具代表的歌曲和舞蹈。在2001年三月阿曼更因此舉辦了『阿曼歌曲節』,進行各區的歌舞比賽,競爭激烈,冠軍可得到錄製個人專輯的機會。

 

舞蹈的部分,Rzaha是阿曼境內有名的舞蹈,許多地區都會表演Rzaha。表演此項舞蹈的男舞者必須身帶重的刀飾,並要有輕盈跳躍的身手,也必須要將身上的刀飾拋接自如,且動作表現必需強而有力。許多年前,Razha舞是用來表達部落居民需求的一種方式,也是宣布戰爭、勝利或召集部隊進行戰鬥的一種方式。但在現今,Razha舞則是在歡迎國王的到來或慶祝特別節日時表演的舞蹈之一。

 賽駱駝

駱駝,所謂的『沙漠之舟』,在阿曼社會上扮演非常不可獲缺的角色。在古代,駱駝被視為主要運輸的工具外,也定期為飼主提供新鮮的駱駝奶。而尤其是阿曼地區所飼養的駱駝,更以其優良的品種及飼養方式聞名。故在阿曼,愛護駱駝即代表對傳統尊敬。

 

阿曼每年都會舉辦年度的駱駝大賽。第一屆的駱駝比賽是在國王卡布斯的指示下舉辦的,最初的用意是為了感謝駱駝養戶的對此阿曼傳統動物的照顧,並鼓勵他們繼續養育此具有高度意義的動物,為牠們提供盡可能的協助。

 

此年度的駱駝大賽包含11個城鎮的參賽代表。賽程持續兩天 -- 第一天將有12回合的比賽。第二天當正式的比賽登場,賽事則移到主辦的城鎮舉行。但阿曼的年度賽駱駝活動,對於參賽者是有如下要求的:

1.      參賽駱駝必須來自阿曼。

2.      參賽駱駝必須為純阿曼種。

3.      參賽駱駝的飼主必須為阿曼國籍。

4.      每城鎮的代表駱駝必須來自於該城鎮,不可代表其他城鎮出賽。

 

贏得比賽的獎賞從獎金到轎車不等。在第一天的比賽前十名的參賽者可獲得獎金 ; 而在第二天的比賽,連續獲得五回合勝利者,可獲得轎車。

 

另外,駱駝賽的活動也或多或少增進了阿曼的觀光。觀光客在來到阿曼之前,或許只經由媒體看過賽駱駝之精彩賽事,但來到阿曼,所有的觀光客都非常享受參與此種盛大且特別的比賽儀式。同時,來觀賽的民眾同時也可藉此認識更多不同的城鎮,更深入瞭解阿曼境內多元的地形風貌及兼容並蓄的文化。


                                              BULL-FIGHTING IN
OMAN

                                                        BRAWN v.s. BRAWN 
If it’s your notion that bulls and cows belong only to the soporific domain of dairies and farms, think again!!In the dusty hinterland of Oman’s northern towns, bulls are primed into mean fighting machines redolent of their ferocious bovine cousins in Spain. There’s one major difference though: instead of charging at nimble-footed toreros flashing red rags, they pick on contenders their own size. 

It’s a typical rural setting on a day Friday afternoon in Al Bataha, a charming fishing village near Suwaiq, about an hour’s drive from Muscat. The air is fervid with excitement as the village folk congregate around the safety of a makeshift enclosure that serves as the bull ring.

  Prizefighter bulls, snorting and bellowing, signal their eagerness to do battle as they receive some last-minute preening from their keepers. Dust hangs thickly; so does the pervasive odout of dung. It’s show-time for the people of Bataha.

  Round One is short and bloody. Eight-hundred pounder meets eight-hundred pounder in a frontal clash amid the thunderous clatter of hooves and the mild cries of spectators/ Like horned gladiators they skirmish in the dust, butting, lunging, thrusting and jabbing.

  A deft sideways lunge by the number of the two catches the other off balance bringing him down in a plume of dust. The superior bull moves on for the kill, inflicting a bloody, but none too serious, gash on the fleshy jowls of his adversary. A loud cheer goes up in support of the victorious bull.

  It’s all over in barely three minutes. The umpire calls a halt to the round; victor and vanquished are led away; and a brief announcement is made proclaiming the name od the champion bull and his jubilant master.

  More rounds follow, pitting stronger, heavier bulls against each other, in a kind of round robin contest. Eventually, the heavyweight champ emerges - a hunk of a creature that belies his tame bovine look.

  No trophies, laurels or victory sashes are dished out. Just a simple proclamation announcing the winner is reward and fame enough. For bull and master, it’s a heady moment of glory, redolent of the times in the region’s history when success ay bull-fights conferred upon the victor instant recognition and status in society.

  Now this age-old sport is making a comeback in parts of coastal Batinah, home to northern Oman’s culturally vibrant agricultural and farming communities.

  Its origin indeterminate though, bull=fighting is known to have been around for centuries, knitting together far-flung communities with a kinship stemming from their deep reverence for the land provides their livelihood. In certain places, the sport is played out with almost religious fervour.

  For a while, modern faming techniques put the bull literally out of business and brought about the sport’s virtual demise during the last decade. In particular, the introduction of pumping systems replaces bulls in the working if ancient lift-irrigation type wells.

  The advent of mechanized ploughing and tractoring proved the proverbial final straw on the bull’s back, making the animal redundant in the field of agriculture altogether. Gradually interest in the sport too petered out. Beef, not brawn determined thereafter the breeding of bulls in the region.

  But in recent years, the sport’s returned to the cultural stage with almost bullish vigour, thanks to a kind of cultural renewal’ by community leaders, conscious of their rich heritage and tradition, Its popularity has since been on the upswing throughout the region.

  Bull-fighting country now encompasses large parts of the Batinah coastal plains, with Suwaiq and Barka at the epicenter. More and more farmers are looking to the bull-ring to test the mettle of their prize-fighter bulls.

  New bull-fight venues are being added to an already growing list. Neither distance nor the daunting prospect of hauling upto a tone of prime beef across several hundred kilometers to a bull-fight venue, deters enthusiasts.

  Fame apart, victory offers the bull owner rich pickings on the market. Champion bulls command premium prices as high as even RO 3,000; a far cry from those days in history when a prize-winning bull fetched about 80 silver kursh (Maria Teresa dollars).

  With each new victory at a prestigious bull-fight, the winning bull becomes dearer by leaps. Conversely, defeat will also cost the bull-owner dearly in almost equal measure.

  Events are mainly organised by local aficionados of the sport, overseen by respected community elders, so charges of rigging are rare, if not, non-existent.

  Fights are governed by a simple set of rules: contending bulls must be equally matched in age and weight; both contestants must be either indigenous origin or foreign stock, no mismatch being allowed; and finally, the umpire’s decision is absolute and binding.

  A simple, but rather ingenious technique, is employed to help bring bulls under control if fights turn savage. By securing the front right leg or tail of each combatant with a length of rope, its minder is able to restrain or hold back the bull whenever ordered by the umpire.

  Knock-outs decide the outcome of most fights, and rarely does a match spill into the second round. Fights that find one of the bulls ‘on the ropes’ are quickly halted by the judge, and the combatants drawn back.

  With interest in the game now growing into a passion quite akin to horse-racing, bull-fight buffs are paying attention to sophisticated breeding and rearing techniques.   

 
 
 
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