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15 Indian outdoor Games that are on the Brink of Extinction: Here is a List!

These once-popular children's games have been the victims of the virtual generation and must be revived before they are lost forever

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Children playing in India, Pixabay

April 25, 2017: Lagori, Kancha, Gilli-danda, Kho Kho – any of these names sound familiar? If you’re in your 40s or 50s, this mention is bound to evoke a torrent of nostalgia for the memories of summer days spent playing outdoors with friends. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, your parents and grandparents could tell you a tale or two about why the mere mention of these games makes them teary-eyed.

But what about the children of this generation have the same memories who prefer to spend their time playing video games in a virtual world? They should know about a few such forgotten yet interesting games.

1. Kancha or Marbles: This game is still a popular among kids in rural areas. The game is played with round glass marbles. The rules are simple; the motive is to collect as many marbles as possible by shooting and striking other marbles with the ones you have. The game can be played by any number of people.

Childern playing with marbles, Wikimedia

2. Chain: Another classic children’s game that is losing popularity now is chain. The game can be played by any number of people, usually not more than 10. The game consists of a ‘denner’, whose mission is to catch the other players. If the denner catches another player, the player becomes part of a chain formed by holding hands and then has to help the denner to catch the remaining players.

Kids playing chain, Wikimedia

3. Lagori or Pithu: A once-popular game among kids in India, It involves a ball and a pile of flat stones stacked on top of each other. One member of a team throws the ball at the stack to knock the stones over and the team then tries to restore the pile of stones while the opposing team ( known as the hitters) throws the ball at them. If the ball touches a person, he is out and his team has to continue without him. This game is played by two teams, any number of members.

lagori, Wikimedia

4. Hopscotch or Stapoo: Hopscotch can be played by one or more people. It is a popular playground game in which players have to throw a small object into numbered spaces of a pattern of rectangles marked on the ground and then hop or jump through the spaces on one or two legs to retrieve the object.

Hopscotch, Wikimedia

5. Chhupam Chuupai or Hide-n-Seek: Hide and Seek is a very popular children’s game that can be played by any umber of players. The players hide themselves in a marked area, to be found by one or more seekers/denners. The denner closes his eyes and counts till a certain number, after which he looks for the hidden players.

Children playing hide-and-seek, Wikimedia

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6. Chor-Sipahi or Tag: Chor-Sipahi, the Indian equivalent of the western game “Tag” is played by two teams with any number of people. One team is of thieves (chor) and the other team is of sipahi (police). The sipahi team tries and catch the chor, after which the turn changes (that is, the chor become the sipahi and vice versa).

children playing tag, Wikimedia

7. Four Corners: Four corners is a game often played by primary school children. The game needs 5 players. Four corners are designated, and one of the players is chosen as being “it”. The rule is; the remaining players have to swap corners without being caught by “it”. If a player is caught by “it” or is without a free corner to stand in, he has to become “it”.

8. Lattoo: Lattoo is a game that can be played by one or more people.It involves spinning a wooden top (lattoo), which has grooves in it lower half and a nail at the bottom, on which it spins. A thick string is wrapped around the grooves on lower half. Pulling the string makes the top spin.

a boy spinning a lattoo, Wikimedia

9.Gilli-Danda: Gilli Danda is a game very similar to cricket and baseball; played in two teams. The game is played with a small piece of wood reduced on both sides known as gilli and a large piece of wood that is used to hit the gilli known as danda. The aim of the game is to hit the gilli as far as possible.

Playing Gilli-danda, Wikimedia

10. Langdi: Langdi is a popular children’s game, especially in the state of Maharashtra. The game consists of two teams, each team has 12 players. The team that wins the toss defends first. A player is sent by the opposing team to tag as many defenders as he can, while hopping on one foot. The team that tags the most defenders ends up victorious.

Langdi, Wikimedia

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11. Dog and the Bone: The game consists of two teams of usually 5-10 members each, and an object such as a bottle or handkerchief, which is designated as the “bone.” A player from each team has to come forward and attempt to take the bone placed at the centre of the playing area back to his team. The player who fails to take the bone will go out of the game.

playing dog and the bone, Wikimedia

12. Maram Pitthi: A game, played in two teams, is very similar to dodgeball. The teams scatter around in a large area and players from a team try to hit players of the opposing team with a ball (usually made of sponge). If a player is hit, he is out of the game. Passing between players of the same team is allowed.

Maram pitthi or dodgeball, Wikimedia

13. Vish Amrit: It is the Indian version of the game “lock and key”, played by any number of players. The mission of the denner is to touch the other players, giving them vish. As soon as vish is given the person stays there until teammates give him/her amrit. The game ends when all players have been caught and no one is left to give amrit.

children playing Vish amrit, Wikimedia

14. Kho-Kho: The game consists of two teams of nine players each, who are required to chase down and tag the players of the opposite team to win the game. The chasing team sends out nine players onto the field, who have to sit in a straight line with alternate players facing opposite sides. The chasers have to make sure they catch the runners who enter the field one at a time before time runs out.

Kho Kho, Wikimedia

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15. Kabaddi: Indian origin game Kabaddi was on its way to extinction, but is now regaining its popularity. There are several forms of the game, but most involve two teams of seven players each. The teams have a designated area of their own. Players have to raid the other team’s area and try and touch one of their players, hence making the touched player “out.”

Kabaddi, Wikimedia

It is time we make sure this very interesting games don’t go extinct, It is important for today’s virtual generation to acknowledge these amazing games and participate and enjoy these.

– by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

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Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393

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Over 5,000 Plant Varieties in Last 3 Years sent in by Tribal Farmers to protect the species : Minister

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Tribal Farmers
tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years (representational Image). Wikimedia

New Delhi, June 8, 2017: Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday said tribal farmers submitted more than 5,000 plant varieties in last three years through Krishi Vigyan Kendras for registration at the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers Rights Authority.

It will play an important role in the development of climate resilient and sustainable varieties in future, he said at the National Workshop on Empowerment of Farmers of Tribal Areas here.

“New technological innovations in agriculture must reach to the fields of tribal areas but before taking such steps we must keep in mind the unique conditions of these areas, which are the gift of nature and therefore, we should promote natural farming in those areas,” he said, as per an official release. (IANS)

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