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GAMES FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN

There are a number of games that girls and women play in India and they vary from region to region and in variety. The traditional games are played based upon the culture and traditions of the region. Some games of girls are even centuries old. Girls are encouraged to play various games as these develop strength, discipline, dedication and good mental and moral make-up.

WE ARE COMING TO PICK BERRIES

Two rows of girls of around five or six stand facing each other. By the tossing of the coin, who should start the game is decided. The girls of the starting group join their hands and step towards the other group singing, "We are coming to pick the berries, we are coming, and we are coming". Then they retrace their path and go to their starting place. Now the second group come forward singing," Who are you coming to take away?" And they retrace their path too. The first group come again singing the same words and name the girl in the opposite group say" Mary". The other group now sings, "They are going to take Mary away". Now the girl named Mary leaves her group and comes in the middle. Now another girl from the first group comes and fights with Mary and both the girls join the group of the winning girl. This continues and the group, which has the highest number of children, is the winner.

PHUGADI

Many pairs can play this game and at the same time the girls recite famous couplets belonging to their native language. Two players play Phugadi, standing in front of each other. They hold each other's hands crossing at wrists. Hands are held tight and straight with body leaning backwards. Their left feet are near each other and rotate only as they go round, while the right foot goes on banging and moving in a speed as they go round and round.

GOAPH

Six to eight girls or women can play this game. They should be in pairs. Same number of colored ropes must be tied up high. Each one has one rope in her left hand. All of them stand in a circle. In the right hand they hold a wooden baton. Then they go round in circle, singing and hitting the wooden baton with the other girl once to the right and then to the left. This gives a twist to the rope and ultimately it twines into one thick rope. Later they go round in the opposite direction and the rope is untwined.

CHAUPAR

This is an old traditional game played by both rural and urban women. This game is also called Chausar or Pachisi. This is played in cross -shaped board which has 8 squares on length side and 3 cells on the width side, totaling 24 squares on each side. This is played by four girls each sitting on the four sides. Each has 4 different colored counters. This is played with dice and six cowrie shells. The center cell is called charkoni. Each piece moves down the center line squares of its own side and then makes a counter wise circuit of the board, traveling along the sides of the others and again enters the center column to enter the charkoni. The aim of the player is to get all his counters safely into the charkoni.

Scoring is done by throwing the cowrie shells on the floor and counting the number of shells that fall face up. During the travel, if the counter is not in the cell marked "X", it may attack the counters. A captured counter has to begin its journey once again.

PACHETA

Women sit around on the floor and toss brightly colored counters into the air and this is called Pacheta. Then they try to catch as many as possible at the back of their hands. It is a great competition with lots of excitement. It is also played during the marriage day among the women who gather around.

GANJIFA

This is an elaborate card game that originated in the 8th century in Bengal. Women play this game in their courtyards once their household chores are over in the afternoons without whiling away their time sleeping. It is played with illustrated circular cards made of lacquered paper or stiffened cloth. It consists of 96 cards, which are divided into 8 suits, each representing a department of the king's court.

CHINESE SEPIEL

This is a game inspired by the Chinese. Four players play this game. Each player has one wooden figure of different color, red, yellow, green and blue. A huge dice which has two white sides and the other four sides are colored, red, green, yellow and blue. The object of the game is to bring ones wooden figure round the wooden board and to the center. The board is as shown below. To begin each player places his figure on the square of that particular color. Then one throws the dice. If his particular color comes up then she can move her figure one place up or else the game passes to the next. If the white color shows up, then the player gets another chance to throw the dice but she can't move her piece. The game goes on like this and the first one to move the figure around the board and into the center square is the winner. 

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