150 wrestlers from the Chittagong region will register for the competition
The 110th edition of the traditional Abdul Jabbar Wrestling Competition—popularly known as Abdul Jabbarer Boli Khela—is set to begin on Thursday.
The traditional sport will be held at the historic permanent venue of Laldighi Maidan in Chittagong.
Abdul Jabbar Smriti Kusti Praitijogita and Baishakhi Mela Committee organize the century-old wrestling competition, and a three-day fair, every year, on the 12th day of Boishakh, as per tradition.
Boli means wrestling, in a local dialect, and khela means sport. The competition has no age limit and anyone may participate in this competition — from youths to septuagenarians.
Abdul Jabbar, a rich merchant from Chittagong, started the competition in 1909 to encourage the youths to take part in the anti-British movement. The competition gained popularity over the years, particularly among the locals.
A large number of spectators gather to watch the traditional wrestling competition every year.
Jahar Lal Hazari, local ward councilor and president of the wresting competition committee, told Dhaka Tribune that they had taken all necessary preparations to make the occasion a success.
Jahar said: “The century-old historic wrestling competition and new Bengali year fair is held every year, in the port city, with much enthusiasm and cultural zeal,
"This time, 150 wrestlers coming from different parts of the Chittagong region will register for the competition. We are optimistic that the 110-year-old heritage will be included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites."
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Shawkat Anwar Badal, general secretary of the competition committee said that the wrestling competition is heritage of Chittagong since every year millions of people assemble for the competition.
Grandson of Abdul Jabbar, Badal said: "Chittagong City Corporation Mayor AJM Nasir Uddin will remain present as the chief guest while Commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police Mahabubur Rahman will inaugurate the competition."
Jibon Boli of Cox’s Bazar clinched the title of the 109th edition of the traditional wrestling competition — defeating Shahjalal Boli of Comilla.