India Games And National Symbols
14 India Games and national symbols
14.1. Entertainment and Nature
Sports: In India all the sports and games played are played internationally. But there are a few sports more popular and some unique and has originated in India.
Most Popular Game is Cricket. Needs no explanation!
Field Hockey is a game in which two teams attempt to score a goal by using sticks that are curved at one end. Each team is comprised of 11 players, usually 5 forwards, 3 halfbacks, 2 fullbacks, and 1 goalkeeper and 5 substitutes. A match between two teams consists of twohalves, each 30-35 minutes in duration. At halftime the teams take a short break before changing direction and defending the opposite end. Field hockey is usually played outdoors on grass or an artificial turf field. The field is 100 yards long and between 55 and 60 yards wide.
14.2. Native Games
Kabaddi is a game that finds its origins in India. The sport is also popular in Nepal, Bangladesh, Canada, Sri Lanka, Japan, Britain and Pakistan. The MIT club plays two versions of the sport, Gaminee Kabaddi and Amar Kabaddi.
Two teams compete with each other for higher scores, by touching or capturing the players of the opponent team. Each team consists of 12 players, of which seven are on court at a time, and five in reserve. The two teams fight for higher scores, alternating defense and offense. The playing area is 12.50m x 10m, divided by a line into two halves. The game consists of two 20 minute halves, with a break of five minutes for change of sides.
The side winning the toss sends a 'raider', who enters the opponents' court chanting,
'kabaddi-kabaddi'. The raider's aim is to touch any or all players on the opposing side, and return to his court in one breath. The person, whom the raider touches, will then be out. The aim of the opposing team will be to hold the raider, and stop him from returning to his own court, until he takes another breath. If the raider cannot return to his court in the same breath while chanting 'kabaddi', he will be declared out. Each team alternates in sending a player into the opponents' court. If a player goes out of the boundary line during the course of the play, or if any part of his body touches the ground outside the boundary, he will be out, except during a struggle.
Kancha is played using marbles (kancha) in cities as well as villages by small boys only as gully sport. The winner gets the kancha of other boys.
Ways for Playing Marble Games -
To begin the game, a large circle is made, using chalk piece or a string or with a stick in case you have some soil nearby. The circle should be slightly big so that themarbles can move inside it freely.
You need to select a shooter, which should be a bit larger in size than the marbles. It should also be distinguishable from other marbles so that it doesn t get lost. Place the other marbles as targets in a cluster inside the circle.
You need to aim carefully and shoot at the marble inside the ring of your choice with the shooter. This is done by forcefully flipping or tossing the shooter from between your thumb and closed palm.
The idea is to knock the marbles out of the ring. In case you succeeded in doing so, gather those marbles. You get another chance to aim and shoot in case you manage to knock out marbles from the ring.
If you didn t manage to make any marble come out of the ring, your shooter remain inside the ring and the next person takes his turn to aim at the marbles, avoiding your shooter.
The game continues till the time the ring becomes empty and everyone has had their turn to shoot at the marbles. The player with the most marbles is the winner of the game.
Gilli - Danda: An interesting city and village game of Indian soil which requiresremarkable hand eye co-ordination. Player has to hit the Gilli with Danda. Final distance of gilli is counted as point.
Tennikoit - Ring Ball
Tennikoit is an outdoor game which was started in India in the early 1960s. Four decades since its inception, the game has risen from district levels to international levels with nearly 20 countries all over the world competing for the crown. In Tennikoit, you play 3 sets of 21 points. The winner of 2 sets wins the match. However, a time limit of 30 seconds is in place per set. This means the server should win a point within nine rallies. Failing to do so will then result in a point for your opponent.
Kho Kho is an Indian sport played by teams of twelve players who try to avoid being touched by members of the opposing team; only 9 players of the team enter the field. In Kho-Kho, one team sits or kneels in the middle of the court, in a row, with alternate members in the row facing opposite directions. The other team may send two or three members in the court. The motive for the sitting team is to try and "tag" the opponents. The chasers can only run in one
direction and cannot cut across the sitters (unlike the dodgers who can run randomly
and in between the sitters). They have to run round the entire row to reach the other
side. The other option is to pass the chasing job to another sitter whose back is facing
you as you are running. The chaser touches the sitter he wants (usually nearest to the
target) and shouts "kho" to signify the change of guard. The objective is to tag all the
opponents in the shortest time possible. If the other team takes longer, the former
14.3. National Animal of India-THE TIGER
The magnificent Tiger Panthera tigris (linnaeus), the national animal of India, is a richcolored well-striped animal with a short coat. The combination of grace, strength, and power has earned the tiger great respect and high esteem. Indian tigers are famous all over the world and one of the main attractions for the lovers of wild life.They are the crowning glory and the light of the Indian wild life.
Tough, muscular, majestic tigersroam about the Sunderbans of Bengal "burning bright in the darkness of the night." The natives of the forest worship the tiger as the deity that gives them honey and wax. The Sunderbans are their main habitat for their thick forests of Sunder trees. They feed on fish, cattle and sometimes human beings. The man-eaters are the most dreaded of all wild beasts. It is a common belief that a tiger does not harm anyone who has offered prayers to him. Tigers are fast runners, excellent swimmers and their eyesight is strong.
To check the dwindling population of tigers in India, which came down to just 1,827 in 1972, massive conservation program was initiated in April 1973, known as the 'Project Tiger'. This project aims to maintain a viable population of tigers in India for scientific, economic, aesthetic, cultural and ecological values. Since then, the tiger population has shown a gradual increase and the census of 1989 puts the tiger population of the country at 4,334. So far, 19 tiger reserves have been established in the country under this project, covering over 29, 716 sq. km. forest area.
14.4. National Bird of India-THE PEACOCK
Peacock is a large and majestic bird. It has got a long and beautiful tail. Both the peacock and
the hen have crest. But the crest of hen is smaller in size. The main body of the cock is mottled
brown in color. Especially, the metallic green color found on the lower neck is very attractive. Though peacocks are beautiful looking birds their calls are loud and coarse.
They move in-groups and they are normally spotted in the forests, villages and nearby fields. They are shy in nature. It feeds on lizards, snakes, grains and insects. The hen lays a maximum of five eggs, which are in pale cream color.
The significance of peacock is attached to cultures of India, Far East, Ancient Persia, Greek and Christian. In Hinduism, the image of the god of thunder, rains and war, Indra, was depicted in the form of a peacock. In south India, peacock is considered as a 'vahana' or vehilce of lord Muruga. The figure of peacock is painted in various Islamic religious buildings. In Christianity, the peacock was also known as the symbol of the 'Resurrection'. In India people believe that whenever the cock spread its tails in an ornamental fashion, it indicates that rain is imminent. In a way it is partly true. At the sight of dark clouds the bird outspreads its tail and starts dancing in rhythmic fashion. Most of the folklore including Bharatha Natyam has got special dancing poses for the peacock dance.
14.5. National Flower of India- THE LOTUS
Among the various flowers of Indian sub-continent, the flower Lotus is regarded with divinity and grace. Often, Goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswathi are associated with the flower lotus. Even Lord Siva, who wanted to escape the wrath of the Lord Saneeswaran, morphed himself into the shape of a bee and took asylum inside a lotus. Buddhists regard this flower as a sacred one.
Lotus symbolizes purity, beauty, majesty, grace, fertility, wealth, richness, knowledge and serenity. They are found in white and pink colors in general and they grow in shallow and murky waters. Some blue colored flowers are also sighted. These flowers enjoy a warm sunlight and intolerant to cold weather. Hence they cannot be seen blossoming in the winter. The floating leaves and flowers have long stems, which contains air spaces to maintain buoyancy.
The plant is having various unique features attached to it. Though the large leaves of the plant are floating on the surface of the water, even a drop of water is not accommodated on top of the leaves. Perhaps, they are teaching the human beings, to lead a life of non-attachment and avoid the worldly pleasures.
Depending upon the level of water in the tank, the stems will rise. In this fashion, it is guiding the human beings to rise up to the situation leading to a genuine elevation in their lives. As the world famous 'Thirukkural' says,
Vellathanayathu malar neetam manthartham ullath thanyathu ouyarvu"
signifying, in relation with the water level of a tank, the stem will rise. In the same way, depending upon their ambitions and thoughts, human beings can elevate themselves in their life.
In Indian religious epics, references of lotus are made, in relation with eyes and feet of
divine persona. For instance "Kamala Kannan" referring Lord Krishna with the contextual
meaning, a person having eyes with the color of the pink lotus. Also, it is coupled with
the feet of deities. "Kamala Patham" means lotus feet implying the feet of the god.
"Charan Kamala Patham" implying, submit oneself in totality, at the lotus feet of the
14.6. National Tree of India- THE BANYAN TREE
THE BANYAN TREE-Called the Indian fig tree (Ficus bengalensis) grows over a large area. The roots then give rise to more trunks and branches. Because of this characteristic &longevity, the Banyan tree is consideredimmortal & sacred and is an integral part of the myths and legends in India. Even today, the banyan tree is the focal point of village life and the village council meetings under the shade of this huge shade-giving tree.
14.7. National Fruit of India-THE MANGO
The fruit Mango, of the tree Mangifera indica, is one of the most widely cultivated fruits of the tropical world. This juicy, delicious fruit is a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D. In India there are hundreds of varieties of mangoes, in different sizes, shapes and colors etc. Mangoes have been cultivated in India since time immemorial. The famous Indian poet Kalidasa sang its praises. King Alexander relished its taste, as did the Chinese traveler Hieun Tsang. Akbar, the Moghal emperor planted over 100,000 mango trees in Darbhanga, known as Lakhi Bagh (India).