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Hash House Harriers

by Patrick Donahue

The Istanbul Hash House Harriers
A Social Club For Everyone - (but it helps if you like to party)

If you are a seasoned expat you know the Hash. If you aren't and want to "visit" areas of Istanbul you would NEVER get to know on your own, come and find out what all the madness is about. The Istanbul chapter of the HHH was founded in 1985 and is one of 1600 around the world. In August 2002, IH3 celebrated its 1000 run with a three-day event attended by hashers from around the world. The Hash is possible the largest organization in the world that has absolutely no legal identity, except in certain control freak countries like Singapore where everything has to be registered with the authorities. Harriers and Harriettes just get together, run, drink, make fools of themselves and each other and have a great time. It is non-competitive and wholesome fun for everyone who is liberally minded, including families.

Each Hash has a "mis-management" committee that coordinates activities. The usually weekly run is set by a hare that leaves trails indicated by chalk, flour or, in the snow, orange lentils. Leading off the main trail the hare will set false trails. These "falsies" are pursued by the front-runners who "check-out" to see if indeed they are the true trail. This give the more casual runners time to catch up to the pack. There are stops along the way to admire the scenery, regroup, drink an Efes, do a Father Abraham (you have to experience it) and off you go again. A good run is about an hour. Some people walk it and chat. Others are in for the run. Rule number one in the Hash is: There Are NO Rules!"

Once you get into Hashing you realize there is a whole Hash world out there. I did a Yahoo search and brought up 42,000 related sites for Hash House Harriers. It's got to be one of the best networking organizations in the world. And it's all FREE! If you are going to Kansas City or Phuket just check out the Hash website, send a message you are coming and you will have ready-made friends on arrival. There is a hash culture with bizarre monikers, unwritten codes, signals, lore, songs, books, myths and marriages. For some, it is the central part of their lives. For others, it is a casual social event. In any case it is a phenomena.

The Istanbul Chapter sponsors ski trips, toga runs in Ephesus, Halloween specials, Santa Lucia events, barbeques, weekend runs in Capidocia and much more. There are also Hash chapters in Izmir, Ankara (The Ankara Wankers), Antalya and Incirlik.

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Latest comments about this article

 By patricia hiscock  28.5.2006

I am a new HHH member living in Muscat Oman and will be visiting Istanbul this week arriving on Thursday morning untilsunday afternoon. if possible my husband and i would love to go to the hash. I do not know who to send this request to so i am hoping you can direct me. We will be staying at GRandoztanik hotel and if we like istanbul we plan to move there in August. So Please if you can help us connect with the Hash. Regards Pat hiscock Hash name Tasmanian Devil

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