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Hungarian Gravediggers Compete in National Grave Digging Competition

In an attempt to increase respect for grave digging and attract more people to the job, three dozens of the best gravediggers in Hungary competed in a unique grave digging competition, last Friday.

The bizarre competition took place at a graveyard in the city of Debrecen. 18 two-man teams were assigned their plots arbitrarily by pulling numbers out of a hat, and supplied with regulation-size shovels, rakes, axes and pickaxes to use in digging the best grave in the shortest amount of time. Contestants were judged on speed, grave neatness and whether they complied with the regulation size: 200 cm long, 80 cm wide and 160 cm deep (7 feet by 2 feet 7 inches by 5 feet). Enjoying the home advantage, the local team came out victorious, digging their grave in less than half an hour. That’s pretty impressive considering some of the other teams took almost an hour to complete theirs.

Each team had their own technique. Some preferred to dig simultaneously and clean up after the hole was finished, while others had one man digging and the other arranging the dirt into neat piles around the grave site. They all agreed that the conditions were just right on the big day, with the earth being “quite soft and humid.”

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