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In Kashmir, traditional games fade into oblivion, courtesy modern gadgets

Post by on Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Zainab is in her early thirties; still she couldn’t forget the rules of the hopscotch game (Saz Loung) she used to play with her friends in her childhood.
She says she has played all types of popular traditional games but hopscotch that consists of a court with boxes used to be her favourite one.
“In my childhood, I loved to play hopscotch and I used to challenge my friends to beat me, but very few people could do so,” she says.
The 31-year-old says besides traditional games she has played digital and other outdoor games but traditional ones make her feel more alive and refreshing.
“Most of the traditional games involved physical exercises that helped in reducing stress and anxiety but nowadays most of the kids’ even youngsters aren’t even aware of these games and are more into digital games,” she says.
Zainab says the traditional games have literally vanished from the lives of the people.
Abdul Ahad Dar, 70, from the Pampore area says one of the traditional outdoor game he used to play in his childhood was Joutas.
“It (Joutas) involved blindfolding a player by a piece of cloth while other players would tease him. The player was supposed to touch others by concentrating on the direction of the wind,” he says.
He said that the game was developed by the ancestors to enhance concentration and hearing power.
Dar says, nowadays, youth and children prefer playing online and video games rather than traditional games which are fading into oblivion.
The games like Saz Loung (hopscotch), Sath Katri or Santooli or Garam, Bante Zaar or Tanga-ya-chaut(marbles), Gaante Bear (kite flying), Chourei Tchape (hide and seek), Dajji ball(cloth ball), Turai Kar and Joutas used to be fun-filled and involved lot of outdoor activity.
Mostly traditional games are based on the natural movement of the human body, which includes running, jumping, hitting or racing.
Rising Kashmir spoke to several children to know whether they play any traditional game, but most of them do not even know the name of such games.
Contrarily, the kids provide their own justification for playing digital games. “The advanced games enable us to play on consoles or computers to mimic real-world situations in better ways,” a group of children said.
Traditional or modern games are always important for youngsters to develop their personality in many ways. However, there is a need to strike a balance between work and play and involve kids in physical activities which is necessary for their overall improvement.

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