Slide Hand Game


Informant is a friend of mine from high school. She is now a junior at USC. She is a first-generation Vietnamese American, and is from Woodbridge, Virginia. She does not have any specific religious affiliations. We both attended The Madeira School, although she graduated two years before I did. Various alumnae were interviewed to compare versions of the same lore from the school. She is referred to as “AH”.


I asked the informant about any playground games she liked as a child.


Interviewer: And can you explain a like playground game and the rules of it? Like that you just played as an elementary schooler or, or like your favorite one?

AH: Let me think. I am going to go with slide just because that was something my sister taught me. Um, so basically you start, you have a partner and you’re sitting face to face and you put your hands. Out in a parallel like form and you slide with the other person, you like alternate hands and slide, and then you clap and then it goes back and forth. So each round you increase by like one. So you start, you clap, you clap hands. One on each. I don’t know how to describe this verbally. Um, but yeah, you clap one hand, one hand and then you go front, back hands and then clap again. And then the next round starts and you do it twice. So two claps and then two front and back, and then it just goes on until someone messes up.


As this explanation is fairly confusing without the attached video of what her hands were doing while she explained this game, I have attached a link to a YouTube video of girls doing the exact game that AH explained. This game is fairly ubiquitous among girls and nearly all of them know how to play it, or have a history of playing it, even if they don’t remember the specifics. AH wonderfully mentions that her sister taught her “slide”, showing how these games can be relevant not only to schoolmates, but sibling and family relationships as well.


Video: Splash Games. “Hand Clapping Game “Slide””. Jun 10, 2009.