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Traditional Bangladeshi Games

Traditional Bangladeshi Games for Kids: Encourage Them to Go out, Enjoy and Experience Life

As parents, our busy lifestyles make us feel satisfied when we entertain our kids with electronic gadgets like television or tablets. We fail to realize that children have to play outdoors for their physical wellbeing and emotional happiness. Getting dirty outdoors playing some of these traditional games for kids is much healthier than staying inside and playing with gizmos. And with Surf excel around, there is nothing to fuss about – even when your kids get their clothes dirty Recently a report published by the National Wildlife Federation stated that when kids get dirty outdoors, it is beneficial for their health, as compared to allowing them to spend time indoors with hi-tech gadgets. Staying indoors makes kids vulnerable to Vitamin D deficiency, and brings on depression and other chronic obesity related ailments.

Five Classic Traditional Bangladeshi Games for Children and Their Advantages

Rumal chor (hanky thief)

Rumal chor can be played with as many members as present. One of them is decided to be the chor (thief). The rest sit facing one another in a circle with their eyes closed or open for some time. Within this period the chor runs behind his friends and suddenly leaves his rumal (hankerchief) behind one of the sitting players. On some signal from the chor everybody starts looking for the rumal behind them. The one who finds it runs after the chor to catch him. The chor runs around in circle and tries to save himself from being caught and take the vacant seat of the person chasing him or her (with the rumal). If the chor is caught by the person with the rumal, he again becomes the chor; in this way the game continues. The more players, the merrier the game; the more number of players also means that the circle and hence the running area is more. Girls and boys can play this game together. The game helps in development of qualities like discipline, sportsmanship and loyalty among the team members.

Kanamachi (blind fly)

Kanamachi can aid in the development of a child’s powers of concentration. A number of children stand in a circle. One of them becomes the kanamachchi. He/She is called so because a piece of cloth is tied over his eyes and he cannot see. The children then gradually increase the circle, and the kanamachi runs after the others trying to touch one of them, as if buzzing around haphazardly like a fly. The children shout out the rhyme ‘kana machi bho bho, jake pabi take chho’ (Buzzing fly, catch whoever you can). The person who is touched has to be identified by name. If correctly identified, he/she becomes the new kanamachchi, and it goes on. Kanamachi has helped ascertain cognitive and emotional development among children through playing activities.  


Dariabandha is another popular game in the villages. In this game a field is equally divided with lines keeping equal distance from each other. Players are divided into two equal teams. One team stands in the starting line outside the field and each of the players of the other team stands on each vertical black line facing at least on opponent player. This player can move towards the horizontal line at a limited range. Players standing outside enter into the field one by one and try to pass across the field to the finishing point and have to return to the starting position. Thus the team wins the game. If any player in the opposite team touches anybody then the game reversed. It demands high level of physical fitness, strength and speed.


Traditional Bangladeshi games for kids were designed in such a way that they could help along the development of kids’ social skills, along with their ability to think logically and build up strategy. These games require stamina, mental and physical skills, quick reflexes and extraordinary hand, eye and leg coordination. Kabbadi is one such traditional game. Lukochuri (hide-and-seek) Lukochuri is one of the most popular traditional games for kids in Bangladesh.

A group of children often play it. They decide by lots who is to be/are to be, the police and who the thief (chor). The team of thieves is given time to hide themselves. Then it is the duty of the police to catch the chors. As soon as a chor is caught, the person who catches him shouts Chor! Chor! to indicate that he has been caught and is out of the game. A version of this game is chor police. It requires extraordinary co-ordination and concentration.

Did you play any interesting traditional games when you were a kid?