Documentary

Kabaddi sports, a mix of struggle, speed, flexibility and tactics

Oinofyta

Greece.

The Sikh is a minority in India and the cradle of their religion is the rural state of Punjabi, near the country’s borders with Pakistan. The Sikhs arrived in Greece in the early 1990s and in 1996 their first community was established near Athens. In 2005, the largest headquarters in Greece was established in the city center of Athens. The factory building, where it is housed, is not only a place of worship but also a core of the Indian community in Greece, which according to the Ministry of the Interior, has about 15,000 members.

Most are industrial workers or farmers, so there are large communities in 5-6 regions across Greece. In recent years, the country is in crisis, so their living conditions have become more difficult. Some have returned to India. Many are trying to emigrate to Germany or Canada where there is the greatest community of Singh immigrants on Earth outside India.

Trophies

In the series we see teams from all the communities of Indian Sikh immigrants fighting in the traditional Kabaddi sports near the village Oinofita, central Greece, 100km from Athens. Approximately 600-700 people were gathered from several communities in Greece. I found myself in the races through a student of mine who has migrated with his family. Probably I was the only Greek person at this gathering. At the end of the games many spectators and athletes ate dinner cooked by the women in the nearby warehouse, which also functions as a place of worship.

Preparation

Kabaddi is a national sport in some states of India and Bangladesh. It’s a mix of struggle, speed, flexibility and tactics. It is unknown to the general public, organized by immigrants 3-4 times a year around Greece, keeping alive memories from their homeland. An indication of how they literally and metaphorically struggle to survive away from their homeland. It is a great honor for the community whose team will win the championship.

Games start
Spectators, men and boys
Kabaddi, struggle
Kabaddi, tactics
Kabaddi, speed
Kabaddi, flexibility
Kabaddi, strength
The warehouse as a place of women
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Stefanos Chronis

Work as a mathematician in a public school. I am an amateur photographer. Like to express myself through photography. I believe photography can be used to inform and lead to greater understanding of the world. Can bring people to question what is happening around them-us, engendering interest in places, people and cultures. Like photographing Ethnic-folklore and social documentary projects in my trips in Greece and around the world. My photos are a combination of street, reportage & travel photography. Photos of mine have been published at National Geographic and Vogue Italia.

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