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Reclaiming the lost glory of TN’s traditional board games
With an aim to introduce forgotten traditional games to children, city-based Varsha Satyan will be organising a game fest for them.
Do you remember playing traditional board games like pallanguzhi, aadu puli aatam, dayam, chauka bara, etc while growing up? These ancient games have been handed down from one generation to another and their origins date back to centuries. But somehow, most of the board games have lost their fame. With an aim to bring back forgotten native games, city-based lactation counsellor Varsha Satyan is organising a traditional game fest for children called Chutty Sandhai.
“During my childhood, I used to play various board games at home for hours together. That was a different generation, but things have changed now and most of us have missed our ancient traditional games. Tamil Nadu is one of the fewer states that are blessed with traditional games like pallanguzhi, aadu puli aatam, pachisi, dayakattai, chauka bara and ashtapada,” says Varsha.
In order to reclaim their lost glory in the state and revive a few traditional games, the 36-year-old is organising a traditional game fest for children called Chutty Sandhai. “It’s high time we brought back our forgotten native games and introduced them to the current generation. To keep the child engaged at home most of the parents give them gadgets to play with. They don’t encourage the kid to engage with some interesting activities,” she rues.
Traditional board games are an extinct art and there should be workshops and seminars to spread awareness and explain the tradition and history behind them. Many board games deal with cognitive functions such as memory, information retention, problem-solving, and complex situations. These aspects of board games help to develop the mind and sharpen a person’s memory.
“The go-to for today’s kids is video games and it doesn’t help them in any way. Motor skills coordination is crucial for a child’s’ development. Fine motor and gross motor skills can be improved with ancient games.
“For instance, pallanguzhi that is played by dropping tamarind seeds into pits on a board is one of the best ways to improve math and motor skills. Even scholars have conducted researches on the game to find out the various skills of children,” she explains.
Even though modern games have their fair share of cognitive benefits, it’s important to add a few traditional games into a child’s playtime. “Apart from improving interpersonal and social skills, traditional games also remind us of our roots. Since it is connected to the culture of a region, the games inculcate moral and cultural values in children,” assures Varsha, who is currently looking for sponsors to support the game fest.