This blog wouldn’t be complete without stories of us meeting kids around the factory! Each morning as we walk through the village on our way to Rickshaw bank, we are greeted with numerous children waving to us and shouting “Hi! Bye!” (or quite often “Bye! Hi!”) After our work for the day is done, some children even follow us down the road a little bit before turning back home. We draw so much attention because not only are we newcomers to the village, but being white is somewhat of a rarity. (and by that I mean there are absolutely no other white people here- see Luke’s post, Two Way Tourism)
There is a group of children that must live close to the factory, because every day they stand at the gate and wave to us throughout the day. Sometimes their curiosity is too much so that the factory workers have had to (playfully) chase them away!
We’ve been getting to know some of them recently, though its been difficult having no language in common. We’ve done some hand motions and asked them their names (one of the few assamese phrases we actually know). Because of our limited language, we’ve had to resort to something more universal, dancing and games!
Last week, Micaela was successful in getting them to copy simple motions, like waving with different hands at the same time she did. Naturally, this turned into teaching them the chicken dance, the cupid shuffle, the hokie pokie, and other quality american dances… They didn’t quite catch everything we were doing, but at least we kept them entertained! We actually kept at least half the village entertained, seeing as at the end of our dancing lessons at least 30 people were gathered around us.
After we had run out of dances to teach them we asked the three girls were with (ages 7, 7, and 9) to teach us a dance instead. One girl, a nine year old named Lotkey, showed us the Bihu dance, a tradtional dance in Assam. She was going way too fast for us to follow so Micaela and I looked pretty ridiculous trying to mimic her moves… Luckily a Rickshaw bank worker soon stole the spotlight (not only the villagers, but factory workers had gathered to watch us) after someone turned on music on their phone. It seemed like he was mixing traditional assamese dance with hip hop, and it was very entertaining to watch!
Finally, we decided to try to teach the kids a game. The simplest one we could think of, as you can guess from the title, was duck duck goose. We started off with just the three girls, and Micaela, Jess, and I demonstrated how to play the game. They seemed to pick up the basics of the game, though they bent a few rules, most notably yelling “duck, duck, DUCK!” repeatedly. One girl even thought she could outsmart the game- she would sit down in my place after she tagged me instead of running around the circle. Slowly, a few other girls joined the circle and learned the game.
It was a great way to end the day, and it was a great experience being able to communicate with no language in common.