Gravediggers Try to Bury Competition in National Contest in Hungary

The contestants were judged based on their speed and style.

June 3, 2016, 12:08 PM

— -- Dozens of gravediggers worked to bury their competition today at a national contest in Debrecen, Hungary.

The 18 two-men teams used shovels, rakes and axes to dig their way six feet under in the public cemetary -- all in an effort to come out on top and gain a spot in the regional championship slated for later this year in Slovakia, according to The Associated Press.

The competitors were judged based on their speed and style.

While some pairs dug simultaneously to get the fastest dig times, others had one in charge of digging and the other working the dirt into neat piles to get extra points for style, the AP said. The fastest team reportedly finished within 34 minutes.

PHOTO: A gravedigger competes while a boy looks on during the first National Grave Digging competition at the public cemetery of Debrecen, Hungary, June 3, 2016.
A gravedigger competes while a boy looks on during the first National Grave Digging competition at the public cemetery of Debrecen, Hungary, June 3, 2016.
Zsolt Czegledi/MTI via AP

Contest organizer Iren Kari said he hoped the event would promote respect and recognition for the gravediggers' profession and attract more people to the job.

PHOTO: Gravediggers take off their disposable overalls during the first National Grave Digging competition at the public cemetery of Debrecen, Hungary, June 3, 2016.
Gravediggers take off their disposable overalls during the first National Grave Digging competition at the public cemetery of Debrecen, Hungary, June 3, 2016.
Zsolt Czegledi/MTI via AP

He added that he hoped the contest would raise awareness to get gravediggers better mental health support services.

PHOTO: A gravedigger competes during the first National Grave Digging Competition at the public cemetery of Debrecen, Hungary, June 3, 2016.
A gravedigger competes during the first National Grave Digging Competition at the public cemetery of Debrecen, Hungary, June 3, 2016.
Zsolt Czegledi/MTI via AP

"These men see death every day," Kari said. "Sometimes people joke about them while they work, but gravediggers are human, too."

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