Episode #7: “Himalayn Hijinks”
India has the second largest population in the world, with over 1.2 billion people. The highest mountain in India is Kanchenjunga, standing at 8,598m (28,209 ft), which it shares with Nepal. Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world.
Children in Asia live in a world that has long existed before the Americas were ever discovered. Their culture is 1000’s of years old and is rich with traditions and customs.
“Dundi Biyo” (Stick catapult & catch)
Players: 4 or more players ages 7-12
What you will need: An open field; One short stick about 6" long; One longer stick about 24" long
How to play: Decide who will start the game by each player tossing the small stick. Whoever tosses the small stick the farthest, starts the game. Dig a small hole in the ground (large enough in diameter to put the big stick in upright). Player 1 lays the small stick across the hole and using the larger stick, scoops up under the small stick to send it flying into the air. Players try to catch the air-borne stick before it hits the ground. If someone catches the stick, he/she gets to be the stick launcher! As long as no one catches the stick, said player continues to be the "launcher." When someone catches the short airborne stick, he/she then becomes the launcher!
“Chaij Nees” ( Horseback Riding)
Players: 2 or more - Teams of 2 ages 7-12
What you will need: One small soft ball or cushion
How to play: "Riders" mount their "horses." Riders begin tossing the ball to any other Riders until someone misses the ball. If the ball hits the grounds, all Riders must immediately jump off and run away from their Horses. The "Horses" must pick up the ball and try to hit a Rider. If a Horse hits a Rider with the ball, the horses win. If not, the riders win. Then children change rolls; Riders become Horses and they play the game again!
“Coconut Shell Shoes”
Players: 2 or more, ages 5 & up
What you will need: Coconut shells halves with a whole drilled in the top...and string long enough to come out of the coconut and reach the children's hands.
How to play: Each player puts on a pair of "coconut shoes." It's a race to the finish line to see who can "walk" the fastest in these uncommon shoes. Requires wonderful concentration, coordination, fine motor skills, and large motor skills.
Fabulous Foods of Asia
Duku - what on earth is this?
Duku are little small potato-ish looking fruits that grow in clusters, much like grapes. Theses clusters are found on trees throughout Asia, and have a slightly thick, yellow skin with a thin yellow hair covering it's exterior. It is said that the Duku fruit has a sweet and tart combination - like mixing a grape with a grapefruit. The 1-3 seeds inside the flesh are flat and bitter tasting, so make sure you don't eat them!
Star Fruit - aka Carambola from Southeast Asia right to your grocery store.
Aside from having a super cool shape, the Star Fruit has a pleasing taste and texture as well. Children often like crunchy foods vs. mushy foods and Star Fruit provides just the right amount of firmness, sweetness, crunch and is loaded with antioxidants, potassium and Vitamin C. The flavor resembles a mix of apples, grapes, pears & citrus fruits all combined together. Make sure you choose firm, ripe, yellow Star Fruit for maximum flavor and nutrients.
Dried Star Fruit/Star Fruit Chips
Slice ripened, yellow Star Fruit cross-wise ( to give you the star shape) into 1 inch sections. Place on non-stick baking sheet (or line sheet with foil) and cook for 1 hour @ 200 degrees or until crisp.
If you have a food dehydrator, follow above directions and dehydrate on low heat until crisp : 4-5 hours.
These are a great snack to send in your child's lunchbox - no bruising, no mess! Or, chop up the dried fruit and toss into a salad or garnish on top of baked chicken!!