Footballing Monks 

Whilst visiting Myanmar’s hill tribe villages in the central highlands we stumbled across a small monastery where a group of novice monks, no older than 14 years of age, were playing an intense game of football  in their robes. Some had old sandals on while the other boys played bare foot as they kicked a ragged old football across a makeshift pitch.

Whilst taking this sound recording of the game it made me realise the scope of the global influence that football has across the world. These boys had barely left the hill tribes in which they resided and electricity and television including the ability to stream football matches was incredibly scarce. Yet these boys were completely clued up on the rules and techniques of the game and shouted the names of international footballers I hadn’t even heard of mixed in between their competitive Burmese chatter.

It is pretty easy to see how football has spread so easily into even the more remote corners of the world. For one the game has a particularly simple and easy to follow set of rules. In conjunction with this the basic equipment needed to play can be very low in cost. Many games we saw were played with rolled up plastic bags or balls made from woven bamboo. The game is also translatable globally across varying languages and cultures. As travellers football gave us an instant connection with many of the locals that we met along the way.




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