Grave diggers came from around around the country to demonstrate their skills in Hungary’s first national grave-digging championship.
36 Hungarian grave diggers gathered in a cemetery in the city of Debrecen on Friday in a race to the bottom. They worked in teams of two, and were allowed to use tools such as shovels, rakes and pickaxes, to see who can dig the better grave. The rules are pretty easy: Dig a hole to regulation size 2 ft 7 in wide, 6 ft 6 in long and 5 ft 3 in deep. Graves were judged on speed and appearance.
The competition is intended to bring respect and recognition to a dwindling profession in hopes of attracting new blood to a career in grave-digging. Graves in crowded cemeteries where machinery cannot fit still need to be dug by hand, but the increasing numbers of cremations, as well as an unwillingness to do hard labor, is burying the profession. It is becoming steadily more difficult to find replacements for retiring employees.
The winning team was a pair of local grave diggers from Debrecen. Next they will face teams from Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic in the regional finals.
via BBC News