Simon Says: Read!

I know you’ve missed me. Even I missed me, but overmore I miss a steady internet connection. Moving back to your parent’s house should be the definite return to a civilised world, but the cable company clearly disagrees. For those of you who get less comments, I do read your stuff on my phone, but commenting is too much of a pain (because my phone stinks, too). I hope things will get better after the summer and from what I know, Missouri has internet in August!

Culture is a funny thing. Especially when two cultures are close enough to really compare, but so different that you don’t know what’s going on every now and then. I believe American culture is pretty close to my own, but sometimes differences appear in the places you’d least expect. Like children’s games. I know some games that children play in the US through television series and movies, but I rarely know what they mean. To make things even more confusing, Dutch and English names can focus on entirely different aspects of a game. Hide and seek in Dutch is ‘verstoppertje’, leaving the seeking out. Still the same game (don’t worry about my childhood here) and this one is still a close call, but it gets worse.

‘Simon says’? I had heard of it, but I didn’t know what it meant. Now that I’ve seen it, I realized we have exactly the same game here, just with a different name. Let me give you another example. I don’t know how you’d call it, but the classic that starts with “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…” somewhere between the ocean gets lost in translation. We don’t mention a first letter, but a color. The list goes on and on, making talks about childhoods somewhat tricky. As a child, I watched a lot of Sesame Street, where all the names are the same, except for Big Bird (who actually has a name, Pino). Once I figure out the next one, I’ll let you know. Just know I’m on the lookout from now on.

What´s your favorite children´s game?


12 thoughts on “Simon Says: Read!

  1. Nice to see you’re back. As far as favourite childhood games, they are so far behind me that I forget. Maybe, I still remember hide-go-and-seek although I wonder if kids still play those archaic games since technology arrived. My granddaughters play it, though.

    • The kids in my neighborhood never stop playing it. Very annoying, I tell you. Whenever they’re found, they take their mobile game stations (not the first time ever I sound this old) and play until they’re up again.

  2. “Verstecken” in German also leaves out the seeking part. My friends and I loved skipping and hoolahoops. i can’t think at the moment what Americans call the thing where you skip with a rope that’s being swung by two other kids…come to think of it, I can’t think what it’s called in British English or in German either. BOTHER. I’m old and getting senile. Good to hear your well, despite having returned to find yourself in the realm that WiFi connections forgot.

  3. Oh boy! If I could tell you how many times I had your situation. I am always stuck in the middle of three cultures: mexican, german and us-american. And most games tend to be the same but they always change the name, so it usually took me a few minutes to understand I was playing the same game as I had played in that other countries. My personal favorite one: a tag version in which you freeze until someone crawls below you to “unfreeze” you. Although I only know the spanish name for this one: congelados. Does that exist in other places?
    Nice article, I enjoyed it very much!

  4. Hide and Seek was one of my favorites growing up. Although, without the seek part I can’t imagine well hidden children would ever be found… Americans are not so bright we need everything to be highly detailed. Outlined with color pencil and arrows and whatnot.

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