The Language of Games
September 20, 2014
When a language barrier prevents conversation, you can still connect with people through games!
While visiting a temple on a rural hillside near the district of Bhaktapur, the TIEs team came across a group of young Nepali people playing cards and the local disk-flicking game Carrom. Their English was limited, and “limited” would be a kind way of describing my Nepali, but we still bonded for a while by playing games. I took a shot or two at Carrom, then taught them how to play the classic card game “War” (and somehow I lost??? Maybe I need a new strategy….).
One of the biggest pieces of advice I would give to anyone travelling in a foreign country would be to bring a language-independent game. I’ve had a lot of fun introducing my Nepali friends to “Carcassonne”, a board game where you build a city with small tiles. Sports fill the same role (I love bringing an American football and seeing people react to its awkward shape!).
You make not be able to speak the local language of a country, but sports and games are a universal language!