MP is a 47 year old Syrian immigrant from Damascus, Syria. She is an accountant and has lived in the U.S. for almost 30 years now. She explains a game that she would play as a little girl with her friends in Syria. She said girls from 1st to 6th grade would play this game and they called it “warid” which is rose in Arabic.
MP: You stand in a circle with your friends. You can play with two people, but we liked it better when we would play in big groups. So, you and your friends all make a circle and hold hands and you chant “sakir warda” and we would all run into the circle. Then, we chant “iftah warda” and run back to our original spots. It is a very simple game, but we would just have fun holding hands, and chanting, and running together.
Context: This was told to me in an in-person conversation, and I was able to perform it.
Although it is such a simple game I can see how much fun it would be to 5-12 year old girls. The chant “sakir warda” means close the rose, and the chant “iftah warda” means open the rose. In Syria, gender norms are still heavily adhered to so I could see why this would be such a popular game for little girls, especially around 40 years ago. It is feminine in all aspects and my informant told me it was typically played at school and at parties.