Jumat, 08 Agustus 2008

Tribal Bungee Jumping - The Real Near-Death Experience

Bungee jumping has been a sensational extreme sport all around the world for last few years, it's now very common to see bungee jumping site on tall building or recreation area in major cities. But how about bungee jumping in remote area?

Welcome to Naghol festival in Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. Long before the western tasted the sensation of falling from high place, the people of Vanuatu had been doing their own version of what we call bungee jumping for about 1,500 years(!) It looks similar to our modern bungee jumping, only different for their "low safety standard" equipments. The jumping base is a 75 feets (25meters) high bamboo tower, the jumper's leg roped with woven vines and they makes a deep canyon to jump into, impact is absorbed by a mere few layers of vines spread across the ground.

Naghol festival is celebrated around the same time as the yam harvest. The jumping session is a rite of passage for young boys who demonstrate their courage by hurling themselves off the towers. Of course, some do it to impress the chicks, like any society, and others do it just for fun.

Before the jump, it’s common for those that jump to settle awhile with family and friends, well, in case they die. Thankfully, there is no death report for this year. But there have been a few damaged spleens and other various injuries. And just in case they’ve struck a deal with lady luck, the divers must take off any lucky charms and refrain from having sex with a woman the day before he jumps, otherwise the dive could go wrong. Every time a jumper take leap, other tribe member frenetically dance and cheer him up.

Naghol festival is ended with enough cooked pig for all and dancing late into the night. Thanks for all heroes. Wanna try this bungee? Or you just wanna dance and eat cooked pig just like other tribe member? It's depend to you.

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