Kunduz hosts Kurash wrestling, drawing thousands

Thousands from neighboring provinces gathered in Kunduz to watch local Kurash Wrestling competitions, held primarily for recreation on Fridays.

Kurash, an ancient wrestling style popular across Asia, has a long history in northern and northwestern Afghanistan.

The competitions, often part of cultural events, provide entertainment for citizens. Wrestler Javid emphasized the importance of ethics in the sport. “Ethic is the first important side of wrestling. It is the second and third side of the wrestling as well. The wrestler should be always flexible and kind,” he said.

Mohammad Ibrahim, another wrestler, noted that these competitions aim to bring joy to people. “These are local Kurash Wrestling competitions to create entertainment. This is an old tradition,” he said.

Fans from Kunduz and nearby provinces attend the competitions, supporting their favorite wrestlers. Mohammad Ishaq, a Kunduz resident, explained Kurash’s popularity. “Kurash is a type of wrestling which has many fans particularly in Central Asia, especially Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and north of Afghanistan,” he said.

Faizullah, a resident of Jawzjan, shared the sport’s generational appeal. “The wrestlers came here to Kunduz from four provinces: Jawzjan, Samangan, Takhar, and Baghlan. This wrestling is inherited from our grandparents,” he said.

Kurash Wrestling competitions are held during national holidays and special events like Nawroz, Independence Day, weddings, and Gul Sorkh. Once a local activity, Kurash’s growing popularity has led to the formation of a federation, allowing athletes to compete at international levels.