India just witnessed its first ever beard and moustache competition. The event was organised by the Bangalore Beard Club on Saturday and oversaw aficionados who sport facial hair turning up in huge numbers.
Contestants sported beards and moustaches of every size and shape. Over 400 people had turned up for the event which was aptly named ‘No Shave November’. The competition is obviously inspired by the international initiative ‘Movember’. The initiative encourages people not to shave their facial hair in the month of November in a bid to raise awareness on men’s health issues.
The competition was announced on the internet about two months back and garnered an enormous response. The club organising the event was itself founded just six months back by Vishal Singh, a 31-year-old wedding planner. The intention of founding such a club was to unite bearded men from different communities and social backgrounds
There were six categories in which the contestants fought it out, namely, full beard, partial beard, longest beard, handlebar moustache, ‘comb stache’ and the great Indian moustache. Ace Celebrity Fashion Designer Rd Ramesh Dembla, Fashion Photographer Waseem Khan, Entrepreneur & Partner at P N RAO Suits, Naveen Pishe, Grand Master Akshar were the judges for the event.
The winners of the various categories won a suit each and a photo shoot. The event was a massive success as men with glorious beards took the stage. The organisers promised that the event will be held again next year.
This, of course, owes its origin to the World Beard and Moustache championships. The International event, which was held for the first time back in 1990 First Hofener Beard Club in Germany.
The history of the sports itself is enshrouded in controversy, much like the many things involved with the international sport of bearding. An Italian group claimed that it hosted the first championships in the 1970s in Northern Italy. However, the modern version was introduced much later.
The World Beard and Moustache Championships comprise of 17 different categories. While 16 of them are traditional categories the 17th one, the Alaskan Whaler, was introduced in the 2009 edition which was held in Anchorage.The categories are classified into three groups – Moustaches, Partial Beards, and Full Beards.
In 2015, the Alpine village of Leogang, Austria hosted the event. The American Beard team clinched the first position in six different categories. The next world championship will be held on Labor Day Weekend in 2107 and will take place in Austin, Texas.