Any summer party without some sort of sporting activity simply isn’t cricket, and the Indians in Denmark (IID) celebration of their country’s independence day at Valbyparken on Saturday 17 August proved that it is precisely cricket, and good weather of course, that will ensure a huge turnout.
Initially the weather decided to play spoilsport, but by midday the clouds had cleared and, much to everyone’s cheer, a good number of players and spectators had arrived. In keeping with the spirit of celebrating the sports most seen played in the public spaces of India (cricket, kabbadi, kho kho), the cuisine was traditional street food, which was supplied by a new Malmö vegetarian restaurant, Tapori Tiffins. They provided inimical, veg puffs, tangy water-filled gol-gappas, masala chai, and delicious ladoos that flew out of their boxes amongst the other delicacies.
The event was planned and anchored by Hemanshu Mundhadha and Saloni Sha, who arranged for a cricket team from the Indian Sport Club (ISC) to take on a team representing the IID in what proved to be a competitive affair that the ISC won in the final over.
The kabbadi – a tag wrestling sport that is steadily spreading across the world from south Asia (Denmark played in the last world cup) – was more one-sided though, with the IID conceding afterwards that they were just not fit enough to put up a fight. “It’s a good time for the local Indian junta to realise that they had to be fitter to play and win against the hardened and professional Indian Sports Club!” observed one onlooker.
Games were also organised for the ladies by Saloni Sha, including lagori (aka dikori, lagoori or lingocha), which involves a team of seekers taking on a team of hitters (sounds like quidditch) doing battle over seven stones, and kho-kho, a tag sport similar to kabbadi but with less contact.
There were also some games organised for couples: dodge ball, balloon race and hopp race. The winners – Milind Dumbare and Kirti Bhogle, and Raj Bahadur Singh and Smita Singh – took home movie tickets from Desi World.
All in all, it was a fun-filled afternoon for everyone.