Wishbone game (Yadest) – Arabic Folk Game


She grew up playing it, learning it from her parents and grandparents.


The game requires two people (P1 and P2) and a wishbone. When two people break the wishbone, the one who ends up with the bulb on top (P1) is the default winner. However, the game is not over. The player who did not get the bulb (P2) has to try getting P1 to accept something from their hand. If P1 says “Fi balee” (“In my mind”) when taking the item from P2’s hand, nothing happens. If P1 forgets to say “Fi balee,” and P2 says “Yadest” (“You lose”), then P2 wins. If P2 fails to win by a certain time that they agreed on, P1 wins by default.

(I added the P1 and P2 distinctions, as well as the translations, to the original explanation for the sake of clarity)


Having played this game before, I will say that it is very fun, since P2 has to devise ways to get P1 to accept something from their hand without thinking of the game. This is similar to riddles, in that not everything is what it seems. To someone unaware of the game, they will think that P2 is merely handing something to P1, but someone aware of the game knows that P2 has been devising schemes. Just as riddles occupy the space between the obvious and the hidden, so do any actions of giving during a game of Yadest.