Disrupted Games: Childhoods in Quito throughout Time

It is the month of the children, the month of the tiniest members in our families, and probably the month where all kids want to be a little spoiled. Nowadays however it seems that kids are expecting a sort of present, or gift to be given to them. The culture of playing has been somehow distorted to fit our globalized needs, our society’s rhythm.
 
However if we look back into time, taking Quito as an example, we can perhaps view how our childhoods have changed throughout time. for my thought to make sense, we will take quito as an example. Ecuador’s capital is not only known for its highlands, historic downtown area but for its traditions. We often do not pay close attention when someone starts talking about traditions because we somehow take them as „given“.
 
Hence, i would like to put a pin on that thought and try to take you in a journey of childhood in Quito. as i said before, now kids want presents, before they wanted their two best friends and a piece of yard and their day was on. 

For this blog, we will be introducing you to three children games that made Quito what it is now, a loving, united and charismatic city.

  1. A piece of chalk and a piece of sidewalk and a tiny rock, yeah those were the three main components that were needed to start playing the famous „rayuela“. This game consisted in drawing what you can see in the picture below on the sidewalk, grabbing a light rock and deciding on your opponent. Once you had that set, you had to make sure your legs were fit enough because in our minds, as kids, we thought jumping with one leg was everything but child’s play! This game required nothing more and that is what made it so beautiful and interesting.

2. A well carved, rounded, piece of wood with a piece of metal on the tip decorated with as many colors as you wanted and a piece of rope; those are the main pictures that pop into my mind when i think about the „trompo“. I can honestly this game was probably one of the hardest we children ever played, not because of its rules, but because of the concentration skills you had to have. From the moment of purchasing it until the moment where you start to learn more and more new tricks with the trompo on the palm of your hand, the trompo is a whole type of science. That is why those who did more tricks, were considered to be the kings and queens of the playground.

3. The canicas, what can i say about this game? Well there are so many words and emotions in my mind when i look back on this game. well, to make you understand how important this game was back in the past, i will just tell you just to imagine all your friends, cousins, siblings and neighbours saving up money doing chores, buying less candy during our lunch breaks, to buy the prettiest marbles and the strongest ones to show them off when the time came. The game consisted in drawing a circle with chalk on the floor, then you and your friends would put your marbles in and with the tip of your finger you would try to flinch another marble out of the circle. if you were lucky, and of course if your friend did not make a fuzz for losing, then you would have been able to take his or her marble away! how great is that? So i bet, you can now picture all of the tension and emotion that built up the whole time.

How great is it when we talk about our past childhoods, it somehow makes us think and reflect on how fast we have all changed and how future generations are. Just imagine, 20 years ago we were happy with a piece of chalk and now you see kids crying over a phone. How crazy is it to think that our mind concepts have disrupted throughout time. The thing however is not to regret the changes but to try to take them as opportunities to really appreciate and cherish our identities because our identities define our past and our past defines our hearts, right?”

 
Just ask our neighbour from the Illa Family, one of the greatest guys I have ever met, he will tell you not only what I just did but more!

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