26 May 2010

Of The Games Children Played

I began writing a blog post about the qualities I looked for in a man and half way through; I had gone off on a tangent.  So I'll have to get back to that in another time and space.

I digressed so completely that now I have a totally new subject.  I hope you enjoy it anyway.

I grew up in the years when it was safe to roam the nearby rubber estates.  There was a group of about 18 boys and girls.  We used to play football, badminton and catch tadpoles.  We played this game of one person chasing the others with a wet tennis ball.  If you were hit, then it was your turn to chase and throw that tennis ball and although it was painful to be hit, everyone laughed and ran away to avoid being the next victim.  

As I relate this story now, I wonder how many of the younger generation would understand that kind of simple joy.  We didn't have videos, play stations, computer games or any of the high tech hand-held games that seem glued to the hands of children these days.

In those days, riding a bicycle was "the in thing".  It meant  your family had money and could afford one. 

We played so many games that seem to be extinct now.  I remember playing a game called "What is the time, Mr Wolf?" and today, talking with my colleague, she mentioned a game called "A E I O U".  We burst into laughter because this was an era when these were all common games we grew up with.

Being in almost the same age group, we could remember those childhood games like "Hop Scotch" and "Skipping Rope".  I can still hear our childish voices singing, "Blue bells, cockle shells, easy, ivy, over".  As we sang, the rope was swung back and forth under our jumping feet, but not turned over. Only on the last word, "over," the rope was turned fully.  

If there are any young people reading this, they would probably say "and...” expecting much more.  They don’t know the simple pleasure of just jumping around with friends!

Another favourite was "Police and Thieves".  We used to recite in Chinese what sounded to me like "Tim peng peng, yow peng peng, tim toh hoe yahn, hey cho peng"

Then there was also another game called 5 stones (usually 5 tiny pillows filled with rice, sand or saga seeds).  This game needed much skill and dexterity to win.  We could spend hours playing this.  I suspect the kids of today would turn their noses up at all these things that my generation found so enjoyable.

When I tell my son or nieces and nephews about those days, I can sense their bewilderment at my excitement over those games.   

To them, it’s a totally new and different world today.  Nothing is exciting if it doesn't come with audio and visual aids.  

For those of my generation, the rain was our toy and the outdoors was our playground.

Sadly, the young of today don't even know what they have lost.

(All pics from photobucket)


Uncle Lee said...

Hello Estrelita, I love this posting. You brought back memories to me.
As I too have experienced living in rubber estates, and during when Uncle Chin Peng was very active.
Of the curfew, police check points etc....

And yes, we played what you played, my sisters the 5 'pick up stones'....fishing at rubber estate streams, rubbing rubber seeds together making it hot and touching someone....
Sleeping under mosquito nets or that foul smelling Gold fish mosquito coil.

Funny nobody thought about that smoke re our health then.
Love your memories....The estates I was at or visited with my parents, was Alor Gagah, Sungei Udang, an estate near Tanjong Bidara....Segamat, etc etc.
You have a great week and stay young, best regards, Lee.

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

My dear Lee

I'm beginning to love your visits. You are so charming and courteous and I just find it so uplifting. ;)

I think we had wholesome fun in those days. The kids these days enjoy too but I think that they miss out on "something".

It's what you, me and all those who grew up in that era enjoy reminiscing about.

You have a great weekend and stay always as you are.

Now I have to end this with

Love and kisses

Johan H said...

Ah Lita, so we have quite a few things in common then... yes some of those games are familiar to me and I've got a few that's peculiar to us rubber tapper kids too... mostly involving rubber seeds and the poles we used to carry latex buckets with. Marbles was my favorite. Could spend an entire day of it with my friends. Then there's congkak, one of my sister's favorites, and snakes and ladders which I always lost. Good times. We ran, jumped, tumbled, laughed. Thanks for bringing back the memories. :-)

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Johan, I think those in our age group have many things in common. We only need to dig a little and we find them.

I have to admit I found this to be the blog post that made me smile the most.

Thanks for sharing your joy! ;-)

Pat said...

I'm playing catch-up today!

I loved this post, and I remember every one of the games you mention! I played them all with my friends when I was little.

And yes, the bicycle meant you were kaya enough to buy one for your kid! We weren't kaya enough, and none of my friends had one either, so I never learnt how to ride one. Now all I have is my stationary bike - still going nowhere, eh? ;)

Reading this brings a smile to my face, as I look inside my head at the memories of so long ago - of school, and the other kids in our government quarters neighbourhood. Good times, all.

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Pat Darling

This is precisely why I blog. So that people will say what you said.

I'm just so glad that my post gave you a smile and made you think of your childhood and all the precious memories of that era.

I have one of those stationary bikes too. At least you get on yours, albeit nowhere. Dust has already settled on mine. LOL

Love ya