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Issue 40
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The games of my village and the magical time of childhood
Issue 40

By Nahla Shujaul Din, Researcher, Yemen

 

The first years of an individual’s life are the most important, because they build and shape his personality. It is during this time that knowledge and values that will eventually emerge at a later stage of life are being formed. During this period, it is important that the child experiences stability and calm in the family, in terms of social, cultural and economic factors, and in the community. The first period in an individual’s life is when the child learns society’s values and when he begins to show attitudes and behaviours that evolve as he grows older.

Playing games helps us make the transition from being lonely to being sociable. This change encourages curiosity and gradually reduces self-centredness. If we compare the quantity and types of games we played in our childhoods with those that our children play today, we find that most of the games played today are for individuals and they serve no social function. Our children are becoming more reserved and introverted because many families and individuals in our communities have neglected the importance of children's games. They think that school and the education system will build the child’s personality while ignoring the fact that a child's need for play is as important as his need for food, clothing, comfort and safety.

Indulging in material life wastes our time and energy and robs us of beautiful memories. We need individual and collective efforts to document, refine, celebrate and raise awareness of the profound impact of group games and their role in instilling social values.