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Gangnam style? Culture clash sees Koreans wrestle by the Matterhorn


No, you’re not seeing things – those really are Korean wrestlers grappling in front of the Matterhorn. The exhibition fight on the Gornergrat Mountain above Zermatt is part of the Swiss Alpine wrestling festival. 

The festivalexternal link, which took place 2,500 metres above sea level in front of the iconic Matterhorn on September 12-14, featured masterclasses for young locals given by several Swiss wrestling champions, fights, a “wrestlers’ brunch” and the appearance of four invited Korean Ssireum wrestlers. 

There are similarities between Korean and Swiss wrestling (Schwingen): both take place within a circular sand or sawdust arena and involve wearing a sort of belt, with the aim being to get your opponent on the ground. 

This year, 40 cubic metres of sawdust were hauled up the Gornergrat for the event.

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