The Grenada Hash is not a local culinary dish or mood enhancer. It stems from a long history of Hashes, first imagined and initiated by a group of British soldiers in Malaysia in 1938, who were looking for a fun way to stay fit without foregoing their penchant for beer. The playful slogan for this Hash Club, and subsequent Hash Clubs is:
A trail is created by a club member referred to as a Hare and and the Hash is on. The Hares, in our experience, take devilish delight in creating trails through challenging terrain and incorporating false trails. The concept took some time to catch on, with the interruption of World War II, but today there are almost 2000 chapters all over the world.
The first Hash in Grenada was held in 1985, and with limited interruptions is held on each Saturday. The Grenada Hash Club is purportedly one of the largest in the World with 150-300 regular participants http://grenadahash.com. This season the Hashes, which ordinarily occur on each Saturday in Grenada, were interrupted for several months while restrictions on gatherings were in effect to stem the spread of Covid 19. A handful of long devoted hashers were so despondent on Saturdays that they formed an interim Bird Watchers Club until the Hash started up again on September 26.
The Grenada Hash, garners a lot of participation.
Prior to the Hash beginning, members of the Hash Club circulate throughout the participants looking for those sporting new sneakers or running shoes. These may be confiscated in the guise of testing their integrity for the rigorous trail. (SPOILER: The true reason is for a customary ceremony that entails the unsuspecting, unfortunate, owner drinking beer from the shoe.)
Separate Hash trails are laid out for Runners and Walkers. Some Hashes include two walker trails – one easier and / or shorter than the other. The trails are identified by periodic deposits of shredded paper (in Grenada) or flour. You must be vigilant to ensure you keep track of these markings as there are false trails that can lead you astray. There are invariably some parts that are steep, some wet and muddy, and some bushwhacking. More often than not there are some remnants of shoes that fell apart.
George and I participated in our first Hash on Saturday, January 23rd, 2020. It was Grenada Hash Number 1122 and was laid out by the Hash Hare “Sex Problem”. As first-time Hashers we were referred to as Virgins. Before each Hash begins, all Virgins are called to the front of the crowd for instructions (mostly lies and obfuscations). You are also informed that at the end of the Hash Virgins will be reconvened for a short ceremony to commemorate your loss of your Virginity and receive your certificate. You will want to make sure you show up for this fun ceremony. One Hash in which we participated had an extra closing ceremony for a pair of Hashers who had just received their official nicknames and another for two dedicated Hashers who had announced their intent to get married.
Dogs are welcome and when the University is in session, many Vets in training bring theirs along. All the dogs must stay on a leash and are very well behaved.
The dogs are even better behaved at the end of the Hash (see below).
Of the eight Hashes we have participated in so far, my favorite brought us through an interior part of Grenada with large and small farms and homes with vegetable gardens and/or vegetable and fruit plants tucked in wherever there was a bit of room.
Each Hash is different and they are all fun. They offer you some great exercise while you are introduced to parts of Grenada you might not otherwise see and people you might not otherwise meet.