EF#15: Between Traditional and Modern Games


Congklak. Made of wood with two dragon heads.

Let’s talk about games of our childhood.

First, I will tell you games in my childhood time, in 1980-s that was spent in Kendari, South East Sulawesi. It means a lot of playing outside. Kasti, a softball-like games, Galasin or Gobak Sodor that usually played in a badminton court, sembunyi-sembunyian (hide and seek), engklek (hopscotch traditional games). See? All were played outside and with friends. At least more than 4 kids. More kids means more fun! As we lived in a governmental housing, most of the kids were from outside Kendari, like Jogja, Palembang, Manado and Makassar. Really. It was a lot of fun at that time. When it was too hot to play, we would watch Gaban Series or Megaloman onVideo Cassette Player, still with a bunch of kids sitting comfortably on the floor as the couch was already fully seated!

How about the food back then? Why food? I remember the time and ‘collecting’ the food was just as fun as playing a game. My childhood favorite snack was Kacang Mede (Cashew nut). The street around our neighbor hood had a lot of Cashew tree. We liked to eat its flesh as rujak with sweet-hot sauce made from chili and palm sugar, meanwhile we would collect its nut which was still inside the hard shell. One by one until it reached about 50 to 100 nuts! Well, when I was active enough, I could make it in two weeks! The way to cook the hard shelled Cashew nut was by burning it in a used powder milk can. I said, burning. As we put all nuts in the can, poured a little bit kerosene and lit it. The nuts should be stirred frequently. When it had done. We just turned down the can to the earth until the fire went off. The effort was not end yet. How to eat that? Get a rock or stone, crushed the hard shell until you find the white-delicious-crunchy treasure.

A lot of work, time, and energy for having a snack, with a possibility of your nose got blackened stain from cooking process. But, I can tell you, nothing could beat Cashew nut that cooked like that. Both the taste and the fun, too.

Did it always included a lot kids? No. I liked playing Congklak that consisted 2 kids only. Gathering as more as possible, either the ‘buttons’ or ‘stones’ in our ‘barn’.

When it is compared to the recent games. Means, my daughters’ time. Games are usually involved gadget, internet, wi-fi and needs as much as 1 kid. More individual way of playing. When I asked them to play outside, like cycling or step on their toy scooter, half an hour later they would complain, outside was too HOT. It is much comfortable to grab their phone or iPad and play inside with the aircon on. Especially when they just got home from the long hours of school and extra curricular. Much, much more enjoyable to just snuggling in bed with gadgets. Blame whom, then?

Between traditional and modern games. All should be in moderation.

Join EF#15 Weekly Challenge: Children Games Now and Then

13 thoughts on “EF#15: Between Traditional and Modern Games

  1. Ah, the cashew story is indeed interesting Mbak. I can imagine how fun it was 🙂 Nowadays, we often have to pay for that kind of experience like in tourism village. I hope parents now are aware to provide their children with activities that can make them environmentally smart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah the parents perspective. I am sorry for being a part of those who usually blame the parents. Now I know that it is not all the parents fault. They already tried to make their kids to play outside.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Member’s View on Children Games Now and Then | Blog English Club

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