When you mention the word "hash" most people get the wrong idea right out of the gate. Most people assume that is has something to do with hashish but it doesn't. I mean, I don't really care what people decide to do with their own time and lives and I do know that there are quite a few members that engage in that sort of thing, but it isn't what the "hash" in Hash House Harriers stands for.
Basically the word hash dates back to when the first Hash House Harriers was formed in Malaysia in the early 20th century and how the mess hall was notorious for serving British officers terrible food that became known as "hash" among the early members. The place where this "hash" was served was colloquially known as the Hash House and the last part we have is the harriers.
Harriers is just a word for a group of hares or more specifically to this group the people that make the trails are referred to as the "hares" and the idea, at least in the early stages of the group's existence was to give the hares a 15 minute head start and then try to catch them.
Normally you do not catch them. When we do this these days (which is rare) it is known as a "live hare" session and I have participated in quite a few: you never catch the hares.
The alert you to where the path is by dropping bits of paper or for the more environmentally conscious people of today we use flour whenever possible and if not, we go back later and pick up all the paper.
There is a lot more to the Hash House Harriers than just running though. That is a relatively minor part of it. Basically we are a social group that drinks and gets a bit of exercise in and the total picture can be summed up in this Venn diagram.
At the end of each or our running sessions the real reason why the Hash House Harriers exists comes into play and this is where we get in a circle, talk, make fun of one another, punish people for violations that they most likely didn't even do, and drink a bunch of beer.
This is where the magic happens and is also where you will get your first glimpse of Hash songs. They are normally piss takes of well known songs with funnier lyrics such as the song that we sing for new people that are jokingly referred to as "virgins" and it is sung to the tune of *The Flintstones" theme song.
Virgins, meet the hashers We're the biggest drunks in history From the town of Chiang Mai We, are leaders in debauchery Half-minds, trailing shiggy through the years Watch us, as we down a lot of beers, Down down, down down down down, Down down down down down down down down Down down down down down Down down down down down down
The "down down" happens at the end of the song and that is where you, if you are on the ice and if you want to on the outside of the circle, will drink down some beer.
Basically we are just a bunch of jokers that like to drink beers and make some new friends. I know that the pals I have made since I started Hashing in Chiang Mai will likely be my friends for the rest of my life and this extends to folks all around the world who were visiting and who have moved away from Chiang Mai. It's really a great thing and we all love it. I've never met anyone that didn't love Hashing once they tried it, and if you have a chance to ever go to a meetup in your area they will welcome you with open arms unless you are a jerk with no sense of humor.
We are still doing a few runs a week here in Chiang Mai, so if you happen to be in the area or are visiting soon drop us a line at our website ... all are welcome any time.