22
August

Published: Monday, 22.08.2016

Did you know? People of Ladimirevci have their own Alka

A wheelbarrow, a skilled pair of contestants and a purpose-built lance are all you need to have a great time at the Ladimirevci Alka.

 “Smaller balloon, two points!” rang out through the SOS Children's Village in Ladimirevci last Wednesday. Contestants young and old busily added up their points at the Ladimirevci Alka, now held for the second year in a row.

The goal of this simple game is clear – the contestants have to puncture the smaller of the two water balloons with a purpose-built lance (a broom handle with a pencil attached to the top) as they are being driven in a wheelbarrow at full speed. The smaller balloon is worth two points, while the bigger balloon is worth only one point. The game is played by teams consisting of two members each. One pushes the wheelbarrow and the other one tries to puncture the balloons with a lance while sitting in the wheelbarrow. Although the game seems simple, experience has taught us that actually managing to puncture any of the balloons without falling out of the wheelbarrow is a pretty tricky proposition.

Participating in this engaging game, modelled after a much more famous Sinjska alka, were not just the children who live in the SOS Children's Village, but also their SOS mothers and SOS aunties. Despite the gloomy, cloudy day, everyone threw themselves into the competition and had a great deal of fun. Getting wet was worn as a badge of honour, because that meant that they were successful in their attempts to puncture the water balloons.

A special mention goes to the hero of the day, who missed both balloons in his first two runs, only to win two points in his third run in the most spectacular way – by jumping out of the wheelbarrow and puncturing the smaller balloon while suspended in mid-air.

“Did you see me, I hit it from the air?!” the thrilled boy shouted to the delighted spectators, who rewarded his move with a thunderous applause.

At the end of this historic event, all of the winners received special diplomas. The remaining water balloons were distributed among the spectators. This lead to a short, but intense water balloon fight between the spectators. Who needs champagne for the winners, with so much water everywhere?

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