New East Digital Archive

A muggle’s game: a spellbinding day at a Russian Quidditch tournament

8 December 2016

Few muggles ever discover the existence of the wizarding world in J.K. Rowling’s fictional universe. A myriad of the most magical aspects of the Harry Potter franchise, by comparison, have crossed over into our own muggle world — you can try every flavour of Bertie Bott’s, shop for your own wand in Diagon Alley and, while hardly advised, run into the wall at the legendary 9 3/4 platform at King’s Cross, all in a day trip to London. One of the most baffling adaptations is Quidditch, a wizarding sport that involves broomsticks, two teams of seven players and four balls, including the Golden Snitch that flies so fast that games can last days until someone catches it. The sport has been embraced across the world, though each country has its own version. Russian photographer Yuri Ivashchenko travelled to a Quidditch tournament in Pushchino, a town south of Moscow, to find out how Russians have adopted the sport. The Russian version of Quidditch resembles both tennis and basketball — brooms don’t make an appearance, unfortunately. Most importantly, you don’t need to be a die-hard fan to join in. “Some of the participants haven’t even read J. K. Rowling. Despite this, they have been faithful to the traditions — the team names and their logos are straight out of J. K.Rowling’s spin-off book Quidditch Through the Ages,” the photographer reveals. What a tambourine is doing on the pitch, however, we’ll never know.