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Street Games

Burmese Children playing a street game

Burmese Street Games

When the sun sets and the temperature is cooler, children in Myanmar usually go outside and play street games. The following are a few street games that children in Myanmar play. These games can be used as classroom activities to expose students to the culture of Myanmar.


Shwe Soon Nyo (“The Golden Eagle”) *** Audio file also available here.  

Background: The Golden Eagle is on the prowl for a little girl named “Ma Twe.” Ma Twe’s friends are protecting her from the golden eagle. The following song is sung by the children before the start of each game. Before the start of the game, the song mentioned above is sung by the children, starting with the children in the line. When the children in line finish saying “Ma Twe a mi thwar thwar,” the game officially starts and the golden eagle can start to catch Ma Twe.



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Game: This game is a variation of the tag game. One person is selected to be the golden eagle, who is basically the “catcher” of the game. Another person is selected to be Ma Twe, who stands in the back of the line. Everyone else in the game is Ma Twe’s friends, who stand in a line in front of Ma Twe. Everyone in the line, including Ma Twe, places both hands on the shoulder or waist of the person in front of them (so that they are all attached in a line.) The person at the head of the line is the main protector, who opens his/her arms and prevents the golden eagle from reaching Ma Twe as everyone behinds the main protector remains attached.

The golden eagle has one sole target, and that is to tag Ma Twe. If the golden eagle is successful in tagging Ma Twe, then that person becomes the golden eagle in the next game. The people in the line have to remain attached to the person in front of them. Whoever breaks the chain at any point in the game becomes the next golden eagle.




Htote See Toe (Burmese border crossing game)

Preparation:  On the ground, use chalk to create a grid similar to the one below. Depending on the number of players on each team, the grid can be lengthened, adding on numbers after 5.



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Game: Divide up all the participants into two teams. One team guards the borders while the other team tries to make it through to the other side. On the guarding team, each member guards one line or “border”; they are only allowed to move along the line they guard, trying to tag opponents to prevent the members of the other team from passing through to the end zone.  The line before section 1 has a guard and that line marks the start line. The line after the last labeled block is the end zone. The members of the crossing team must cross to the end zone and then back to the start, without being caught or tagged by the guards. The winning team is the one that successfully guards the borders or the team with one member who successfully reaches the end zone and back to the start. After the victor is determined, the guarding team becoming the crossers and the crossing team becomes the guarders.





Ka-lar-ma-see-khone(Burmese Hopscotch)

Preparation: On the ground, use chalk to create a grid similar to the one below. Any number of players can play this game. Each player needs a stone or some small object to serve as a marker.


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Game:  The first player begins the game by throwing the stone to box number one. The stone cannot touch any of the lines, and it must lie within the box of the labeled number. If the stone lands on another number besides 1 or touches any of the lines, the player’s turn is over. If the throw is successful, the player then hops through the grid, skipping the box with the stone. For example, when the stone is in box 1, the player skips box 1 and hops straight to box 2 and 3. When two numbers are adjacent to each other (2 and 3, 5 and 6, 8 and 9), the player can use both feet, left feet on box 2 and right feet on box 3. For boxes 1, 4, 7 and 10, the player must be on one foot. When hopping through the grid, the player’s feet cannot touch any of the lines or his/her turn is over. After hopping to number 10, turn back around and hop back down the grid in reverse order. Stop at box 2 and 3 to pick up the stone from box 1.  If the player falls or touches the line during this process, the turn is over. After picking up the stone from box 1, the player can hop on box 1 and back to the start, marking a successful round.

Next, the same player throws the stone on box 2. When hopping through the grid on the way to number 10, the player skips over box 2. On the way back after reaching number 10, the player stops at number 3 and picks up the stone in box 2, then places his/her feet on box 2, and then box 1 and then back to the start. Whenever the player messes up, the next player begins the game starting with box number 1.  After all the players in the game have finished their first round, the first player goes again by throwing the stone to the numbered box that the player messed up on  in the previous round.

When the player reaches the turn to throw the stone on box 10, there is a slight modification. The player has to face away from the grid and throw the stone backwards. The stone must land inside the semi-circle, not touching the line. The player then hops through the grid and picks up the stone from box 9. The winner of the game is the first player that gets through all ten levels.