Lethwei in Kayin State

3-Day Thingyan Lethwei Tournament near Eindu, Kayin State

Image Series and Video Clips Part 2

The 3-day Thingyan Lethwei Event near Eindu was a so-called "Flag Tournament" (Louvi Lala Pue*), in which only non-beginner, advanced and highly experienced boxers take part. The biggest goal and honor for the participants is to obtain the Tournament Winner's Flag, which comes along with a considerable cash prize.  There are flags to win in each experience level category of the tournament. After receiving the flag from the tournament's promoters at the end of the day, the category winner clamps the shaft of the flag into the back of his boxing short and honors the audience and the organizers with a concluding performance of his individual variation of the Traditional Lethwei Boxer's Dance (Louvi Yi Pya*). This performance might look quite funny for a first-time observer.

The video above shows parts of one of the most action-packed and ambitious bouts of the second day between two highly experienced competitors.

As it is common that only at the beginning of each tournament day all the contenders of the upcoming category apply for participation by stepping into the ring, it might happen that the organizers cannot find a suitable opponent for each challenger. If that's the case, every disregarded challenger who presented himself in the ring also gets an amount of money as a compensation - like it happens pretty often with Saw Thway Lay, the biggest guy from 'Cement Factory Gym', who - with a bodyweight of approx. 85 kg - is quiet out of the ordinary weight range of Burmese Boxers, as one can see on the following picture series.

*spelling adopted from the book "Traditional Burmese Boxing - Ancient and Modern Methods from Burma's Training Camps" (2003), written by Zoran Rebac, who provides interesting descriptions of Lethwei rules, ceremonies and different tournament types as they were standard in the past decades.

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Image Series: Thingyan Lethwei Tournament near Eindu

(Part 2)