Traditional Bahraini Games

Traditional Bahraini Games

While the world of technology and videogames has indeed descended upon the younger generation with a vengeance, there are still some games that don’t require wifi or electricity. These games make use of teamwork and imagination. Check out these traditional Bahraini games you can still play! 

  1. Gutalaguti

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In gutalaguti, two teams of children, tries to hit the small stick with the big stick (see picture for how its arranged), and once the small stick is up in the air, to hit it again. The person who has hit the stick (the batter), has to run around a marked out area (like a baseball or cricket pitch), crying out “gutalaguti, gutalaguti” as he runs. While this is happening, the other team has to catch the stick. If the batter reaches the “save base” first, his team scores. But if the other team catches the stick before he reaches the base, they score a point.

2. Burooy

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Burooy is a traditional game with a social purpose as girls play at being homemakers. Participants bring whatever simple materials they have in their house: empty cans, seashells, leftover food, etc.; then they start building a house with these materials and preparing food for a feast.

3. Carom

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Haryana Chief Minister, Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda trying his hand on carom board after inaugurating Billiards Hall at Karnal Club in Karnal on February 7, 2012.

Carom is one of those games that have successfully transcended the age and culture barrier. A cross between chess and billiards, it requires much concentration and skill. The game is played on a wooden board with four holes at the corners and lines to help players guide their shots, as well as a number of flat multi-colored discs which must be flicked using either the index or middle finger into the holes. Points are counted according to the color of the disc (5 for black, 10 for yellow, and 50 for pink or red). If a player flicks the pink/red disc into one of the holes, he must immediately follow it with a black disc.

4. Cycle/ Hoop Rolling 

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This game beloved by children of all ages and in all places, is also quite popular in Bahrain. The origins of this game date back to Ancient Greece (who gave Bahrain the name “Tylos”). And the object is simple, who can keep the hoop upright the longest.

5. Dawama 

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Dawama is a ball-like object with a needle in the middle of it. The aim is to pull the rope attached to it and make it spin.

5. Khayshaysha

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Khayshaysha is the Bahraini version of hide and seek. Traditionally played during Ramadan, when parents are out of the house, its like a tag game between two teams. One team hides while another team seeks the other out. The object of the game is to catch members of the other team one by one.

6. Saba 

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In this game, two teams get split up. One team has to fill a large coke bottle with sand, while the other team tries to knock over the bottle and hit the people on the opposing team using a tennis ball. If the ball hits someone’s head it does not count, and if the person moves whilst throwing the ball it is considered a foul. Once the bottle is filled with sand, the teams switch places.

7. Al Sikeena 

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Al Sikeena, or hopscotch is a game that most of the people here have played in their childhood. Kids throw a small object into the squares drawn on the ground and then jump through the spaces to pick up the object.

What is your favorite childhood game?