Sports had been an integral part of life before the advent of electronic gadgets which consumed most of our time. Rural sports had moral values which instilled a feel of brotherhood, patience and positive thought into the players. After the introduction of sports telecast in television, real time sports have lost their real significance. Most of the traditional sports can still be found alive in rural areas. Every Indian state has its unique culture and a few unique sports too. Let us have a look at Tamil sports and their morals, childhood and adult games of Tamil Nadu.
Parama-padham is an in-door game like snake and ladder in which a player climbs the steps by rolling dice. If he faces snake, he descends down and if he faces a ladder, he climbs up. The one who reaches the destination first is declared as the winner. This game teaches the reality of fate, which is revealed by dice. Next, it teaches an important theory – life always has its ups and downs, neither success nor failure is permanent.
Paandi or Nondi
This game is mostly played by young girls along small lanes inside or nearby houses. Six or any even number of squares are drawn on a muddy surface and the player has to cross them with single leg. A small piece of stone with smooth surface is used, which is moved by the player with toes. To play this game, the player should use only one leg. This enables the stability of legs and also allows to realise the fact that we have two legs when many people in this world are physically challenged without legs or paralysed.
This game is played on a wide open surface mostly by boys and this game also gives work to legs and thighs. When one player bends and remains still, other players cross him by widening their legs. Though this game resembles high jump and long jump, the players themselves take their turn to form a barricade. Moral – all are one in spite of ethnic, cultural or economic differences. The one who bends and supports other players to jump develops a value of helping others and refrain from ego.
Pallaanguzhi is a typical girls’ game with two players. Tamarind seeds or small coins are used in this game. A device with many pits, made of wood or metal is used. Seeds are filled in a pit and distributed from there onwards. Consecutive pits get filled as the game progresses and the pits continue to remain full or empty. This game is a fun-filled one with a message of “sharing what we have to where there is nothing to share”.
Ezhu kal is seven stones game played by two teams with many players. Seven stones are placed one on top of another. They are arranged, collapsed and re-arranged. As the game progresses, the process of arranging, collapsing and re-arranging keeps on happening. When one team arranges the stones, next team opposes them. The game ends when the stones are successfully arranged. This game teaches the concept of “making and destroying”, trying hard amidst failures.
Nowadays, sports are promoted as an extravagant event with business motive. This led to the disappearance of many games which were popular few decades ago. Another main point is – rapid urbanisation. Children are packed with tasks with no time to play. Their leisure time is filled with touch screens and moving screens. This generation has missed the value of playing with friends in open fields and along water bodies. As the proverb states, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, such kids may not be highly efficient in socializing with people at later stages.