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  • Writer's pictureKirk

A New Game

When I made my travels to Arunanchal Pradesh in India I would often visit the girl's home and interact with them in their daily activities. They are afforded few hours of just play time each day. It was nice just watching kids be kids and see the games they play in this area of the world.

Turns out it's often the same ones I played as a child. The most played game I saw the children play, both boys and girls, was marbles. They didn't play it exactly as I did as a child but I expect there are many forms of marble play in the world. But the gist was the same. If you won, you hot to keep the other player's marbles.

Marbles had actually become a form of currency for the children. It could be used as a means to barter for other things children may want, including food. There were not a lot of valuable items at the homes, so marbles became the main bartering tools.

I would bring marbles when I arrived to the homes and would try to divide out as best as I could. It was always a welcome moment at the homes, but marbles are quite heavy in bulk so I could only bring so many.

There were other games they played as well. Some games I never heard of, but must were versions of games I knew. I liked to introduce them tonew ones as well. I introduced them to the game of Limbo as well as Stop and Go.

But the one they really enjoyed which I brought to them was hop scotch. Now maybe that's thought of as mostly a girl's game, but I played it a lot as a child. It was one of the favorites as a smaller child growing up on our small street. So, I was anxious to share this game with the children

In case you forgot the game, you make a series of squares in the sand to jump or hop into. One foot per square. You then take a flat rock and throw it into one of the squares progressively. The square your rock lands on you cannot hop into but skip over. Then you hop through the remaining squares but you must stay within the boundaries of the squares. If successful you throw your tock again to the next square in the progression of squares and repeat until you have successfully landed in each square while finishing the Hop Scotch course.

Below is a picture and video of the children having fun at it;

Watching the children I often thought of the bubble they lived in. This area of the world is difficult, even for children. I will relay more stories in the future to illustrate.

But outside the walks of the home life is hard. Children must work the farms even at a young age as elderly parents backs give out under heavy manual farm work. Much of the work done by machinery elsewhere, is done here by hand.

Few will get advanced education, and will be stuck in a cycle of poverty. But for now, in this brief window of their life, they enjoy being kids. The thing most of us took for granted when we were young.

On this day they got to play a new game to them. One that brought back memories of my simple but happy childhood. A game to which they can fondly look back upon in their adult life and perhaps smile in memory of these happier times.

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells
5 days ago

Anytime you can put a smile on a child's face is a great day. Great that you interacted with the children. What we think as a small gesture of kindness is huge to them.

4 days ago

So true!

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