In Colombia (and only Colombia) there is a sport that has become the national pastime. Think part darts, part horseshoes, and the most important part: gunpowder. Originally called "Turmequé" (for the town where it started more than 500 years ago) it is now more popularly known as "Tejo" (the Spanish name for the metal discus used). The object of the game is to throw your tejo, weighing roughly five pounds, at a target containing small paper pouches filled with gunpowder. There are several ways to score points, the most common being hitting a pouch causing the gunpowder to explode. The first person (or team) to a predetermined amount of points wins. Traditionally, the loser buys the winner's drinks, but most players drink as much as they can while competing in the hopes that they don't have to foot the bill. It makes sense that beer companies sponsor nearly all the professional teams.
Watch this video to see a couple of "gringos" play for the first time alongside locals...
Lisa Costantini is a writer/editor currently traveling the world with her husband working on a project about sport and culture. More information can be found on their website at www.whysportmatters.com. Lisa will be blogging from the road for us as she and her husband travel through Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe over the next several months.
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