Saturday, May 05, 2007

Seven Stones...... crossing boundaries

Today I came across an Indian doctor, who knew how much I was fond of football. I was checking the NBA web site.

"It's strange you're not checking soccer news!"

"I've already checked them"

"Do you watch cricket?"

"Not really, but I heard the world cup is going on"

"It's over, Australia won, and India lost in the first round to Bangladesh, it was a disaster"

"Yeah I'm sure it sucks to have one billion people feel sad all at once"

"Do you play cricket in Lebanon", he asked

"I'm not from Lebanon"

"I mean Egypt....."



"Jordan", I replied

"Yeah do you play cricket there?"

"No, I barely know what cricket is. All I know is that a player throws a ball at another player"

"Yes and the other player has to shoot it with his bat"

"In Jordan we have something similar. We used to play in neighborhoods. The boys divide themselves into 2 teams, then they arrange seven stones over each other, and boys try to hit the stones with a tennis ball. IF a boy hits the stones the other teams runs away......."

the Indian doctor interrupted, "I know, the boy tries to hit the other team members before they can get back to arrange the stones"

I was totally surprised. "Do you know the game" I asked

"Of course"

"What is called in India?"

"Putame"- I think that's the name he said

"What does it mean?

"It doesn't mean anything"

"But it should mean something, in Jordan we call it Sab3 Hjaar, it means seven stones, because the stones we use in the game are seven"

"In India it doesn't mean anything"

"And do you use seven stones?"

"Maybe seven or nine, I forgot"

I had a very strange feeling. I always thought of Sab3 Hjaar as a very local game, something Jordanian or Jordanian/Iraqi/Syrian kind of game. Obviously they also have it in India. I always felt it's the idea from which baseball was created , one player throws a ball then runs and the other team players try to hit him with it.

I don't think I'll ever play "Seven Stones" again, but I'll always think it's way more exciting, creative and competitive than baseball, cricket, or that stupid nameless Indian game.


Amer said...

allay yer7amha min ayyam.
sab3 7jar
el deek el a3raj
sayd samak

man, I will never forget those days. you get back from school, have lunch, watch tom & jerry or sinan or what ever was on T.V., then hit el 7arrah. at that time, my curfew was athan el maghrib. get home, wash up, and more T.V. until 10:20 on channel 2 there was usually a movie. get to sleep, wake up at 6:30, and go to school ...

Mohanned said...

azeed 3lek lo3beh esemha boomeh, ta3et el shalaleet etha 7ada be3rafha, it is jack ass the jordanian edition..

Anonymous said...

you know, me too..I thought it's a jordanian/palestinian thing..anyways, when I lived in Doha, I found it extremly weird that people played cricket in the streets and public playgrounds instead of football..but then again the population is more than 80%indians and asians.

Blogger said...

Yeah, lots of schoolyard games are similar all over the world.

Like Cricket got popular in Southern Asia because of the English colonization.

Hide and seek can be found anywhere, elastics (you know where a kid jumps over a string being rotated by another two kids) is popular.

Believe it or not, Hejleh (aka. Hopscotch) is a very ancient game. It was actually a training sport for Roman soldiers!

I think The Wawee game is similar to Mr.Wolf

People would be actually surprised that we play Cowboy-Red Indian in Jordan (no offense to anyone).

Kids have a great way of bonding maybe they should run the world (if they are not already doing so)

Anonymous said...

Oh that game!

We dont call it 'Putame'
Or may be he was trying to say 'Pathar' which means 'stone'...LOL
Actually, it is a local game so every person come out with their own new terminology.:D

In my city, we call that -'Thikri-Thikri' (lol, i know the name sounds very funny). Thikri are the remains of the ceramic pottery ware which are usually preferred in place of stones for no obvious reason. (oO may be because they pile up easily..hmm...Oo)

Anonymous said...

India has seen a series of conquests since the 7th century by Turks and Arabs. So, you'll find many things apart from that particular game similar to Indian acculturation. There might be a possibility of initiation of this local game because of Arab invasion in India.

PS: even we use seven stones.:D

An Oriental Blog said...

shu how come i've never heard of this game!

Hareega said...

globalorama... I agree, I lived like that for like ten years, same routine but it was the best routine
Life was easy!

mohannad, la2 ma l3ebet el bomeh , ma azon, sounds cool

salam... wow, as i expected, seems to be more international

firas, hehe i don't wish for kids to run the world, let them just "run" that's good enough

ilm: man i'm glad you jumped in here, I was somewhat expecting that, I actually talked to that Indian doctor's wife -she's Indian too- and she told the game's name was pitto, which means marbles, is that right?

Anonymous said...

Glad to know that you were expecting my response, hehe.
I kinda pop up to check my friends blogs and even yours as and when I go bore clutching the same damn quotidian books:D

Correction, am a gurl:D

'Pitto' (oO OMG! one more name :P Oo) that adds one more to the list, lol, as i've told you- everyone comes up with their own new terminology. Therefore, it has to be right:D,hehe

Mala2e6 said...

hareega: cricket is golf on vallium

i miss sabe3 7jar,boumeh,sanam,6omayeh,za26a,3askar w 7armaeyh..i always thought we invented sabe3 7jar..

remeber how we used to count for those games..and then we say 3ala ommak..laish 3ala ommo mish 3arfeh

Sel3 said...

yes sab3 7jar was amazing! Mohanned, i remeber bomeh it was very painful playing it. and also kan fe "te5bayet le2shat" it was painful too.

Hareega said...

mala2e6... not sure why "3ala ommak", i always why so.... the story behind it might be interesting !

Anonymous said...

They use 7 stones in india and it is called that...7 stones!

Hareega said...

a... thats interesting, it looks like everyone from india is telling me something different, looks like every part in it has its own 7-stones culture!

Anonymous said...

A topic on seven stones!! how interesting.. NOT!!!! it's a stupid game.

Anonymous said...

I lived in India till I was thirteen, now I live in Canada.

We played it everyday-that game-and we called it Pittoo in Hindi and Seven Stones in English!

You have no idea how much I miss it now!

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