If colourful marbles remind you of your childhood then you belong to the generation which played traditional outdoor sports. Yes we are talking about Kancha – the traditional Indian sport.
WORDS BY- SANGEETA S
Among the various traditional games, Kancha or the Marble game was amongst one of the popular games and is still played in villages. For those who have grown up playing kancha the story on Kancha Sport will be a nostalgia trip and our current generation may also find it interesting.
KANCHA THE GAME
Kancha also called ‘Goli’ or ‘Goti’ or ‘Marbles’ is a popular street game of our country. Often while passing through villages you can see kids with bags of marbles in hand, aiming at other marbles; they would be wearing a serious look while aiming with precision and typical technique. Yes, they are enjoying the game of Kancha. This ancient game was once played across the country before our children got totally digitized.
The game is played using colourful marbles called kancha. Kancha or marbles are balls made of glass that come in various colours. Many collect them even today just for memory and some use it for decoration also.
The game of kancha is ancient and can be counted in the list of traditional games of our country. Going by some, it seems the game originated in the Dwapar Yug when Lord Krishna used to play this game with his friends. Initially stones were used to play this game and marbles were introduced later.
Of course the game has been forgotten in the cities but marbles can still be seen in some houses as decorative items; people fill their vases with colourful marbles or use them to make beautiful pieces like candle holders etc. But apart from using it as decorative items if marble game can be revived our city children will definitely benefit in more ways than one. And also remain rooted to culture.
Once it used to be a favourite game of children in cities as well as villages; the game is still played in villages.
RULES OF THE GAME
There are many versions of the game. Some are simple versions while some little complicated. The simple way kids play this game is by just hitting the target kancha using their own kancha. With one eye closed the player would aim at the target kancha from a distance. If he hits he collects the kancha. A particular type of technique is used to hit the marbles. It used to be a matter of pride as to who owns maximum kanchas; some kids would collect more than 100 kanchas. Children had passion for this game.
In another version of the game, a small hole is dug and from a distance the player kneels down and tries to send the marble into the hole. The person who is able to send all the kanchas into the hole is the winner.
BENEFITS OF THIS GAME
The nature of the game is such that it helps in the overall development of the child; both physical and mental. This game of Kancha involves body movements which is good for physical fitness. The game involves a typical posture and one has to kneel and bend on the ground to play this game with precision, this helps the child in being physically
fit. Since it is an outdoor game, played in the grounds, the kids who play this get to enjoy lot of fresh air, sun and open environment. And finally the game also improves focus and concentration. A target is set and the person has to hit the target (marble) from a distance. The person or child trying to hit the target requires lot of focus and concentration; this helps hone the concentration of the child.
Another big plus point of Kancha is that one doesn’t require any special gadget or infrastructure to play this simple yet interesting game. Children from all social status can easily enjoy this game. Most of the traditional games can be played anywhere.
The game also helps children develop their social interaction skills. Social interaction confined to the virtual world is not helping our children grow as desired. To be able to handle the challenges of the life one needs actual life interactions.
THE GAME NEEDS REVIVAL
With the mobile era coming in lot of our traditional games are getting lost; Kancha being one of them. These days even in villages you can find children playing games in their mobiles. Many online kancha games are available which children are playing all the time.
Though it is still played in some villages but it seems if efforts are not made to revive the game it may get lost completely. And with these dying games we may also lose touch with our culture.
Small efforts are being made but bigger effort is the need.
Most of our societies don’t have enough space for children to play. It is the job of adults to provide space, time and opportunity for children to be able to play such games. Once the necessary environment and motivation is provided, children will definitely move outdoors.
Revival of ancient games
Global Kancha Marble Sports For All is working to revive the game. With trained referees, they keep organizing tournaments and seminars. The organization wants the kancha Marble sport to get recognition by MAYAS (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports) and IOA (Indian Olympic Association).
The Indian Traditional Games Festival was conceptualized in 2010 to propagate and make people aware about ancient Indian Games and our rich culture. The festival held every year includes games like kho-kho, langadi, kabaddi, gilli-danda, lagori etc.
Why Traditional Games
• Allows more social interaction
• Builds interpersonal skills and social bonding
• Improves physical fitness of the child
• Improves focus and concentration
• Helps child remain rooted to culture