Learn Creole and its Culture

Lwazi ann Ayiti: marèl

Children’s hobbies in Haiti a few years ago

One of the things that characterize a person’s life is leisure or entertainment, how he spends his time relaxing and having fun when he is not in his usual occupation. A hobby is an important part of life. It is usually associated with culture and can even help you identify a person’s personality. So everyone needs hobbies: adults and children. But in this article, we will focus on the leisure, entertainment, and hobbies of children in Haiti some 40 years ago.

There has been no shortage of activities in the past

There are a number of hobbies that children have done in their spare time, such as playing games, swimming in the sea or rivers, strolling, watching television, and so on. In this article, we will look at some of the games that young ones have been played with each other, which have encouraged physical and social interaction while everyone is having fun. There were games for everyone, whether you like to play indoors, or you like to play outside or on the street.

In those days, children in Haiti used to play a variety of games as a pastime, and many of these games helped children to develop their senses, intellect, and body.

Types of entertainment and recreation

We can classify these games as follows:

  • Games played with hands: “crab”, count-and-capture (kay), jacks (oslè), marbles, jacks (with pebbles), Tic Tac Toe, heads and tails (tonton palmis).
  • Entertainment with a game in hand: “ralba” (a thread along with flattened bottle top), “toupi” ((spinning) top), yoyo, hunting, slingshot (“fistibal”), accordion, checkers (damye)
  • High-speed distractions: hide and seek (“lago”), “deli” (a variation of hide and seek), hopscotch (“marèl”), “Attention number one (1)”, play ball, jump rope, Hnds up (“olemen” or “Haut les mains”), frog role play, round, gymnastics {“plake”), car (toys), role play, flying kite, rolling circle, riding wagons (“kabwèt”), riding bicycles.
  • Hobbies between good friends: “Give me everything” (“Ban m tout”), “Let me live”, “Live in love”.
  • Leisure with hand-to-hand contact: Pepsi, Hand Slap (or Hot Hands, Flinch or Red Hands), “Maman m’a mis à l’école” (a roll play where they sing “My mother sent me to school”), “Dam dam be”, “Panzou”, “Accusation is expensive” (“Akizasyon peye chè”).
  • Games with words that give birth to many words, expressions and proverbs:
    Feral like:
    People with grimaces or grimaces: since it rains all grimaces feel like cockroaches (this may have prejudice in it, but we just stay in the distraction aspect without a second thought of prejudice).
    For those who are very dark: night, cuckoo.
    Children without front teeth: mazora, toothbrush, papier maché…
    When a person is skinny: beetles, gnats, pimples, wood brooms
    For big kids: potato chips, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes…
    Riddles: Deep circle (word for word, “Little round with no bottom”) ?! (A ring), Captain under the bed ?! (A vase), Captain behind the door ?! (A broom), Pass here, I’ll pass the other side and we’ll meet ?! (A belt), and a variety of other riddles or puzzles.
    Note: When this type of puzzle is given, the person giving the puzzle says “Krik?!”, people may answer and say “Krak!”. That’s where the “Krik krak” comes from.
    Tales (or stories): buckwheat and malice, devil, little adult stories, and many more.
    Note: When someone tells an tale, the person saying “Tim tim?” Is heard, and the audience responds with “Bwa sèch!” That’s where “Tim Tim, Bwa sèch” comes from.
    NB: If you are playing any of these games with someone, and the person is upset, STOP. We only want to talk about leisure, in a constructive way (without prejudice, without intimidation, without harming others.)
    Tip: When someone is harassing you, laugh at the person, and harass him or her.

The way we have fun with these hobbies
Let’s see how some of these jets used to be.

Charges pay dearly
It is a game made with several children. One child is about to turn a blind eye to another child, and the other person has to reach out to all the other children. Thus, any of the other children in the game will give him a pat on the back (which is sometimes hot). Then they open his face and tell him who gave him the tap. If it is the child who was shot (that is, he or she is selected), that child will take his or her place. But if he is accused by another child, the child will be slapped on the back to pay the charge. In this sense, the back of a child’s hands can become very hot before it hits the person who gave it the last tap.

Give me everything, let me live
This game is for kids who are friends who play. When they are all tied up, these children watch over each other when they have something in their hands, especially the food they eat, so that they can take the child with it. When a child surprises another child with something in his hand, he has to say to the child, “Give it all,” and the child has to give everything in the hand. The only thing that will save a child when he has something in his hand is to rush to say “Let me live” before the other person tells me everything. In the case where a child is tied up with me and several other children, he has to watch over all the other children when he has something in his hand, so that he can tell them “Let me live” so that they do not ”. In this sense, many children hide when they eat something and even eat food cooked by adults. No kidding, this game often makes children hungry when they try to get them into “Give It All”. Even other children, when they are taken away from me all the time, are outraged, saying that they are no longer in the “Give Me All”. So they ate their food generously.

Attention number one (1)
Attention number 1 is a game played with 2 teams. There is a referee leading the game. Each team can have one, two and even three players. Each player has a number. The referee puts each team in their place at a nice distance from each other. Each childhood number is the same as its peer. Both teams have the same distance from the target. Thus, each number they need to put their ears ready. When the referee calls a number, the child with the number on both teams must run to the target and return to his or her seat with the other child untouched. So they both get in front of the target, watching each other to catch him and running back to him in their place without the other touching him. Finally, each team that takes the target and returns to its place with it without touching the other, the team scores a point. To play this game, the child must run fast after reaching the target and be intelligent, so that the other person does not touch him. Ayayay, it’s no small matter.

The role play “Louloup louloup”

This game is designed for children. One represents a devil, another represents a mother, and several others represent a mother’s children: The devil lights a small fire (this may be some stones or other objects) and goes to the flea market. As the children play, the fire is spread. When the devil is back, here’s how the game continues.
The Devil: Who Spread the Fire?
Children: It was scattered by a passing little bird.
The Devil: Call me the little bird.
Children: Little bird! Little bird! … My throat is tired…
Devil: Call me the little bird.
Children: Little bird! Little bird!… My throat is tired…
The Devil: Do you have smoked herrings for sale?
The children and the mother: Go further up!
The Devil, Do you have salted herrings?.
They said, Go further down!
Then the devil begins to get angry. The mother took all the children and line them behind her back, one after the other, while each child hold on the shoulders of the next. Here’s how the game continues.
The Devil asks: Do you want me to eat your first child?
The mother: You can’t!
Devil: Do you want me to eat your second child?
The mother replied: You can’t! …
After asking the question about each mother’s child and the mother answering, she begins to turn left and right trying to take the children. The mother is holding her back so she can’t reach for her children. That’s where the “Louloup louloup” begins. As the children and all the mothers jump and sing: Louloup louloup! Eyapa! Eya eya… Eyapa!
Louloup louloup! Eyapa! Eya eya… Eyapa!
Each child that is taken from the mother’s back is expelled from the game until all the children are taken separately. After playing this game, the children sweat a lot and are happy. It feels so good that even adults get into it.

There have been many other hobbies in the past

There are many games I do not mention. These are enough to give you an idea of ​​the distractions of the children of those times… Ayayay! when there is no school, in the morning boys play ball, girls play mother games. Even when the sun is hot, there is more toupi, ralba, marble, tilt, jacks, count-and-capture, etc. In the afternoon, the boys play ball where they imitate Maradona and other favorite football players; especially after watching small series of films such as “K-2000”, “Drôles de dames“, “Les deux font la paire“, “Hulk“, etc. Girls even skip ropes, go around and play with their hands. Many of the younger ones, girls and boys, play a role, such as drumming and drumming, especially in the Langichat and Papapyè plays. When evening comes, beautiful jokes are told, children sit and listen to older people and adults are telling stories. It was wonderful.

Some of these children’s games today, according to the families raised, continue to play but not much. The evolution of time brings many changes. Children’s language and leisure activities have changed dramatically. As time goes on, new toys will appear, especially toys that make children lonely. Even with the Internet, this is another world we have in Haiti. Yet if we knew…?

Sharing hobbies is caring

Which of your favorite pastimes, entertainment, or games did you enjoy? What other hobbies might we mention? Please share your ideas with us about these types of hobbies, over in the comments below. We will be happy. Soon we will bring another topic to your attention. If you find yourself in this article, feel free to comment: 👍 Like, 🔔 Subscribe and ↗️ Share. This will make us very happy.

47 thoughts on “Children’s hobbies in Haiti a few years ago”

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