Welcome to my 2019 Blogging A-Z Challenge. Each day in the the month of April (except Sundays), I will bring you a memory of games and a jump rope song. It is similar to the classic A My Name Is… Do you recognize the chant? A world of children will greet their friends and skip through the alphabet alliterating their name, a friend’s name, and their home city. They will also state their country, the language they speak, and their favorite game. Descriptions of the games are included. I chose games that are played on playgrounds or streets where children negotiate their teams and terms. You may recognize your favorite games that differ only in name. As the alphabet progresses, it becomes apparent that the pursuit of laughter and fun are universal.
F my name is Fatih
I live in Faisalabad, Pakistan
My friend’s name is Farha
We like to play Oonch Neech
We speak Urdu
And now we’ll say “Alwidaah!”
Oonch Neech is one of the most popular games for young children in Pakistan. Players need a hilly area to play. Oonch means hill and neech means valley. One child will begin as the denner, or, as they are called in tag, ‘it.’ The denner chooses whether to capture players on the hill or in the valley. Once they declare their area, the other children run to the opposite. However, they cannot remain in the safe zone and must run back and forth through the oonch and neech zones while avoiding the denner trying to capture them. As soon as one player is tagged, he/she becomes the denner and the game starts over.
Here is a video clip of the original A My Name Is… jump rope chant.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.