Athens, June 2018

Athens, June 2018

Greek childhood Games

When I was a kid there were many Greek games that we used to play with my friends in the neighborhood...

Apples (Mila) - Two children face one another and between them are many children spread all aournd the two facing children. The aim of the game is for the two children to hit with the ball the other children spreaded around them. However, if a child manages to catch the ball instead of being hit, then the other child is out of game and replaced by the one who caught the ball.

Hide-and-seek (Krifto) - What you need: 3 or more players, good hiding places. Instructions: First, one of the layers stands in front of a place where he can't see the others. Then he closes his eyes and counts to 100. All the other players must hide. When the first player finishes counting, he has to search and find the others. When he finds a person who is hiding, he has to run quickly and be the first who gets back to his "place". He has to find all the players. If the last person who is hiding manages to be the first to reach the "place", he is the winner and the person who was trying to find the others has to do it again.

Hopscotch (Koutso) - What you need: a piece of chalk, a little rock, at least 2 players. Instructions: Draw approximately 8 squares on the ground with the chalk. The squares must be one on the left and one on the right and show a rectangle. Put the rock in front of the first square. Then move towards the first square, jump on your leg and try to push the rock with one leg into the first square. Then, if you started from the left square, push the rock to the right and vice verse. You must push the rock into all the squares without moving it out of the square. If you push the rock out of the square that you want to move into, you lose.

The bee goes by (Perna perna i melissa) -This is an old, traditional game. At least six children are needed. Two children clap and sing. The rest pass under the clapping hands. Whoever is caught must decide which of the two clapping children he/she will join. Finally, when all the children have taken sides forming two teams, they play tug of war and those who do not fall down are the winners. This game is played by many children (6-7 years old) from all over the world. I liked this game and found it very amusing when I was a little girl. Now I have a lot of homework and I don't have time to play traditional games. However these games are very nice!!!

Leapfrog (Varelakia) - This is a simple game. Five or fewer players are needed. The four players stoop down in a row keeping some distance from one another. The fifth jumps over them by putting his/her hands on the back of the child in front of him/her and opening his/her legs wide over his/her back. When he/she jumps over all the children, the last one jumps over the others. Whoever losses his/her balance is the loser of the game.

Bzzzz - Μαζεύονται τα παιδιά και αποφασίζουν ποιος θα τα "φυλάει". Αυτός λοιπόν κάθεται σ' ένα σκαμνί ή στέκει σκυφτός και βάζει το δεξί του χέρι κάτω από την αριστερή του μασχάλη, κρατώντας την παλάμη ανοιχτή προς τα επάνω, ενώ με το αριστερό του χέρι κρατάει κλειστά τα μάτια του. Οι άλλοι παίκτες στέκονται προς τ' αριστερά του και ένας απ' αυτούς τον πλησιάζει, του χτυπάει την ανοιχτή παλάμη και ύστερα απομακρύνεται μαζί με τους άλλους. Όλοι χοροπηδούν γύρω του και στρυφογυρίζουν το δάχτυλο τους φωνάζοντας "Μπιζζ!" όπως κάνει η μέλισσα. Αυτός που τα φυλάει πρέπει να μαντέψει ποιος τον χτύπησε. Αν τον ανακαλύψει, τότε αυτός παίρνει τη θέση του αλλιώς το παιχνίδι συνεχίζεται κατά τον ίδιο τρόπο.

Πουν' το το δαχτυλίδι- Στήνονται τα παιδιά σε σειρά. Κάποιο από τα παιδιά κρύβει στα χέρια του ένα δαχτυλίδι, ψεύτικο ή αληθινό. Έπειτα προσπαθεί να αφήσει στα χέρια κάποιου από τα παιδιά που είναι στη σειρά το δαχτυλίδι, λέγοντας το τραγουδάκι:
Πουν' το, πουν' το το δαχτυλίδι, -ψάξε, ψάξε δεν θα το βρεις! δεν θα το βρεις, δεν θα το βρεις, το δαχτυλίδι που ζητείς.
Το κάθενα από τα παιδιά έχει μια ευκαιρία να μαντέψει ποιος έχει το δαχτυλίδι.Όποιος μαντέψει σωστά παίρνει το δαχτυλίδι και το ρίχνει στο επόμενο παιδί. Το παιχνίδι συνεχίζεται με τον ίδιο τρόπο.

Blind bee (Τυφλόμυγα) - Needs at least 3 kids. They decide who will count then that kid closes his eyes with a handkercheif while the rest of the kids mingle. He has to figure out the name of the kid he catches. If he succeeds then the other one becomes the the blind bee.

Abarisa (an older game that my dad used to play) - The game was played in the old days but it's also played today. It is an outdoors game and it can be played by children ages six to eleven. You play in two teams. Every team chooses a column, or a tree for "home". The game starts. The aim of the game is to manage to touch the other team's home and say "ABARISA". This means you have conquer the other theam's home and your team wins. To go out of your home, you should say "ABARISA". A child from team "A" says "ABARISA" and exits. Another child from team "B" exits too. The second child tries to catch the first one so he/she doesn't conquer his "home". In the same way and at the same time, a second child from team A exits trying to catch the child from team B and a second child from B exits trying to catch the second child of team A and so on. If a child catches someone, he/she goes to jail. If his team says "xele" he is free again and the game continues. If the one team says "ABARISA" in the other teams "home", they win and the game finishes.

Battle with toy soldiers (Mahi me stratiotakia) - Every opponent gathers an army of toy soldiers. Each player rolls a marble against the rival army. The soldiers that fall down are considered dead and are out. If they have fallen on other toy soldiers, they are considered wounded and they stand up again. The purpose of the game is to eliminate the toy soldiers of the rival army.

YoYo - I used to love playing this game, wasn't that easy trying to get it back to your hand, but I tell you it was fun! The yo-yo, has existed for thousands of years. Ancient Greek artwork displayed the spool-like toy and over the years, the yo-yo has been found in various forms in many cultures. These early versions were made of wood, metal or terra cot and were often decorated with painting of people or scenes. The two discs were connected by a small rod in the middle and had a piece of string tied to the rod. As it passed from culture to culture, the toy went by many names: "bandalore" and "quiz" in Great Britain, "incroyable", "l'emigrette" and "coblentz" in France, and "disc" in Greece. In the Philippines, however, it was labeled "yo-yo" which means "comeback." As well as a toy, the yo-yo had been used for hundreds of years as a weapon, often with blades attached.

Glass-marbles (Svoloi) To play this game you need: 1 big marble (the "mom"), 10 small marbles (the "kids")
First, you have to draw a line on the ground. Then, you put the "kids" in a triangle shape 1 meter away from the line. The "mom" goes 20-30 cm away from the "kids". Then one of the children who plays first must hit the "mom" with his/her finger so the "mom" will hit the "kids". If some marbles pass the line, you take points (one point for each marble). If the "mom" passes, you don't take any points. When the first player has played the other children have to put the marbles again in their original places. This game was mostly played in neighborhoods where boys gathered together. The number of players didn't matter. All boys could play but it was better when they were many. For this game you need small glass-marbles. All the boys that play put their little glass-pebbles in one line as in bowling. The first boy to play, throws little glass-pebbles trying to hit the other pebbles in the line. If he hits one, he takes all of the pebbles on the right-hand side of the one he hit.

Lasticho - Girls used to gather around and hop over a piece of elastic rope wrapped around 2 other girls' legs and thighs at different heights. There were at least 4 diff. combinations of height as well as several other movements to be mastered.

Broken phone - Needs a few kids. The first starts off whispering one difficult word to the one sitting next to him/her and this goes on from one to the other.. usually mishearing the word... Last one to say the right word outloud wins! (lots of fun 'cause you usually end up w/a completely different word!)

Handkerchief (Mantili) - To play "handkerchief" children get in two groups. One child is a referee. In every team, every child has to have a number. For example, if a child in team A has number 3, a child in team B has to have number 3 as well. When the referee calls out a number the children that have that number have to try to take the handkerchief. The winning team is the one that takes the handkerchief most times.

Σβούρα - Παιχνίδι για 2-3 άτομα. Σχεδιάζουμε έναν μεγάλο κύκλο και γύρω απ' το κέντρο του, βάζουμε όσες σβούρες χωράει. Ύστερα καθόμαστε έξω απ' τον κύκλο και κρατόντας μια σβούρα στο χέρι μας, προσπαθούμε να την χτυπήσουμε στο κέντρο του κύκλου και να διώξουμε όλες τις υπόλοιπες μακριά. Απ' έξω απ' τον κύκλο. Προσοχή! Η σβούρα που θα κρατάμε στο χέρι μας πρέπει να είναι δεμένη μ' ένα σκοινί απ΄την μύτη (κάτω-κάτω) έως την λαβή (πάνω-πάνω), ώστε να γυρνάει γύρω-γύρω πιο εύκολα. Οι σβούρες που βγάζουμε έξω απ' τον κύκλο γίνονται δικές μας. Για διευκόλυνση του παιχνιδιού, οι παίχτες πρέπει να παίζουν με σειρά ένας-ένας ξεχωριστά ώστε να φαίνονται οι σβούρες που το κάθε παιδί βγάζει έξω απ' τον κύκλο.

Also it was traditional at my home to see slides or watch a movie with a very old camera... Inside the house I used to love playing with my playmobiles or watch several photos.

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