We join 4H! (or was that H4?)

by Dave on October 27, 2009

HHHH 1619 012

Mismanagement Convenes the H4 Circle

Before you burst into the chorus of “Everybody’s got a Water Buffalo!” (we frequently do when we hike on the weekend, because, well, it’s pretty much true here), this is actually more about running and drinking than agriculture.

There’s no easy way to explain Hash House Harriers to virgins (that would be you, if you haven’t run with the Harriers) other than to talk about it as the bastard child of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Participaction’s Body Break (the old version). The history of this cult is long and sordid, but gist of the thing is a weekly cross-country run followed by the consumption of beer during a silly and potentially humiliating ceremony. I participated in a few while I was on the road with work last year (it’s an international organization like Rotary, sort of.) and then apparently subjected friends to episodes of drunk instant-messaging after. It was pretty fun!

Fast forward to Kathmandu, where the Himalayan Has House Harriers (H4) have put an inventive twist on a great tradition.

Like most Hashes, H4 membership roster lists a mix of local and expatriate participants. It’s not a huge community here,  so the organizers have gone to some extra effort to make things a little more inclusive. It’s the first Hash I’ve been to that encourages “soft drinkers” and takes some pride in that fact that “beer drinkers” are usually out numbered. It’s also that first Hash that puts up two routes – one for the runners and another for “hikers” who are less athletically inclined or simply want to save enough breathe to have a decent conversation with their walking mates.

It is, in fact, a family hash – something I’ve never heard of.  At one time in the 1970’s, this was a men’s only event, but now lots of people bring their kids. This includes Kruel (his hashname) who runs an orphanage – he brought a busload the week before last. We also have the Scholars, two local fellows that saw a Hash running though their village and now join any run they can get to, with the help of a ride from other Hashers. The GM maintains an impeccable reputation for British eccentricity, but avoids the raunchier Hash songs to keep things family-rated so . Yet, to the bewilderment and delight of the local villagers, the Circle stills manages to be one of the silliest I’ve participated in. Only in Nepal.

For some additional context, here’s the account I wrote for the 30th Anniversary Run south of Thimi (argh! Frames! Look for entry 1617 in the left navigation.). Robin got HashCrash for a semi-spectacular dive in a local rice paddy and a Down Down for having his hands in his pockets during the Circle.

Remember – no wanking, people!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin October 27, 2009 at 8:35 pm

you forgot to mention your down-down for bunking work

Dave October 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Yeah – great – thanks for announcing that to the whole Internet, Robin!

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