Each country is filled with a variety of exciting games – both online and traditional – that players enjoy. In Commonwealth countries for example, popular games include cricket, horseracing, and rugby. In the United States and Canada, hockey, basketball, and American football are universally loved. However, when we dig beneath the surface, we will unearth some fascinating games that are unique to specific cultures on a micro level. The UK is largely credited with popularizing cricket, rugby, football and bingo too.
Let’s explore 20 amazing games and how they have impacted our world for the better.
- Azerbaijan – a fantastic game by the name of Sur Papaq began in the 12th century and is widely regarded as the oldest game in the country. It is played on horseback and is similar in many respects to the modern game.
- Bangladesh – in this Third World country, there are many communities living in outlying areas. A game by the name of Daria Bandha is widely enjoyed on the subcontinent.
- Brazil – Brazil is home to many fascinating games, one of which is known as Elastico. While it is not a home grown favourite in the country, it is played by many of Brazil’s youngsters from north to south, and east to west.
- Egypt – Egypt was once the centre of math, science, and modern life. An ancient game known as the handkerchief game is still played in Egypt today. This goes to show that culture has deep roots in modern-day society.
- Ethiopia – this African country has fascinating wildlife, widespread famine and destitution, and a rich history. One game that has flourished since 1900 is Korbo. It is widely enjoyed in the southern regions of the country, and it was also played on horseback.
- India – one of the world’s most populous nations, India has many fabulous cultural games. The game by the name of Kho Kho has been played since ancient days on chariots.
- Jordan – this Middle Eastern country is a proud kingdom with a long and established history. A game by the name of Seven Stones has endured for many generations.
- Malaysia – the world’s most populous Muslim nation features a game by the name of circle sepak takraw. It has been played for almost 600 years, and is also enjoyed in Brunei in Singapore. It is a kicking game with a rattan ball. Similar to a rudimentary form of football.
- Mozambique – this African country features a game known as Mundo. It is enjoyed by rural and tribal people, from the Zambezia province throughout central Mozambique and beyond.
- Nigeria – one of the great oil-producing countries on the African continent, Nigeria features a game by the name of Okwe. This generations-old game has no known origins, but people throughout this African country enjoy it with gusto.
- Pakistan – this populous country north of India features a game by the name of Gilli Danda. It has been referenced in medieval times as early as the 13th century.
- South Africa – the rainbow nation of South Africa has a rich and checkered heritage spanning hundreds of years. A game by the name of three tins is played in South Africa. It is unique in every sense of the word.
- Tanzania – a game known as shake is played widely across Tanzania by the youth. The origins of the game remain unknown, but it’s popularity is off the charts.
- Trinidad and Tobago – Caribbean islanders have many exciting games that they enjoy. One such game is known as moral. Local communities and young folks typically play this game on the playgrounds in the schools.
- United Kingdom – the UK’s home to a smorgasbord of games from its many different cultural groups. One such game is known as Touch Tag. Touch tag has its origins in the 1930s, and was initially a full contact sport game. Now, it is simply a touch game where players are protected from being tackled.
- Zambia – this African country features a game by the name of Shomba. While the origins are sketchy, both guys and gals enjoy this exciting physical game.
- Iran – this Middle Eastern country features a game by the name of Gol Gol. It’s a delicate game where players are required to guess which types of flowers the opposing team members are holding.
- Austria – this European country features a game by the name of skeleton sledding. As you may have guessed, it involves getting on a sled on the ice and going at breakneck speed down the track.
- Czech Republic – this East European country features a game by the name of volley-towel ball. Up to 5 pairs of players from two teams will compete with a volleyball and a towel.
- Israel – Ga Ga Ball is an action-packed game where two teams compete against one another with a ball known as a Ga Ga Ball. If you catch the ball and throw it at the opposing team member below the knee, he/she is out.
This listing of 20 countries and the games that are unique to them is but a small sampling of what’s available in countries around the world. Each culture, ethnic group, or tribal group has games that are innately theirs.