Guli Danda: Another Great Diversity Life Skills Activity from Global Games

The methods used in Global Games for Diversity Education by Rich Keegan employ experiential play and activities that are paired with focused reflection and the use of various processing tools. Providing structured reflection time with each activity allows for the processing of feelings and the creation of new ideas. It lets participants test new knowledge against old. Various processing techniques include questions, use of props, country proverbs and historical background information. Pictures contribute to the explanations of equipment and play.

Gulli Danda (India)

Diversity Life Skills
: #3 Treat everyone fairly; #7 Accept people the way they are; #9 Focus on what you have in common; #10 Make an experience enjoyable.

Time: 15 to 20 minutes

History: There are no known records of this game in Asia until the arrival of Europeans. It is played in rural areas of India, Pakistan, Yemen, and Cambodia. Variations are also played in southern Europe, Italy, Great Britain, United States and the Philippines.

Music: 1) One Step, 2) Mina Arabic, Artist/Group: Mo’Rockin

• One whiffle ball bat
• One 12″ pool noodle
• Two empty cans (e.g., soup cans, soda cans, tennis ball cans)
Get It Goin’
• Separate into groups of three or four.
• Set the pool noodle on top of the two cans (see pictures).
• Each player gets three tries to hit the pool noodle with the whiffle ball bat. Batting players place the bat underneath the noodle and flip the noodle up in the air.
• The pictures above show the three allowable tries. First, try with the bat in front of you. Second, try with the bat between your legs. Third, try with the bat behind your back.
• Once the noodle is in the air, the batting player tries to hit the noodle as far as possible.
• Fielding players try to catch the batted noodle.
• Batting players get one point for each batted noodle that is not caught by a fielding player.

What to Say
The theme of this lesson is to find something you have in common. During this game, we hope you see what other games you have played that are similar to games played by people from Pakistan, India, Cambodia, and Yemen.
Please get into groups of four. Each group will get one whiffle ball bat, one pool noodle, and two cans. Each group will choose a person to start the game. This person will try to flip the pool noodle up off the tennis cans, and then hit the noodle as far as they can. The batting players are only allowed three swings.
The fielding players’ job is to try to catch the batted pool noodle before it hits the ground.
The batting players will earn one point for each batted noodle that is hit in the air but not caught by a fielding player.
If the noodle is batted onto the ground no points are scored.


• Have participants play this game silently to simulate an inability to communicate with the other players because they speak different languages.
• Play three outs, instead of three swings. Noodles caught in the air are considered outs.
• Play the game like home run derby—three points are scored for a long distance hit, two points for a midrange hit, and one point for a short hit.

Diversity Life Skills Questions/Activities
1. What similar game do you play in your culture? Is this game easier or harder than the game you play? Why?
2. Anything else you noticed that is similar to other games you have played?
3. What things do you share in common with the people playing this game?
4. Did your willingness to try the game give you something in common with someone else?
5. Where else in life could you use the diversity life skill of finding something in common with someone else to help you be successful?

Indian Proverb: “For the friendship of two, the patience of one is required.”

Sources: Introduced to Rich Keegan by Samira and Shehab Ashigarir, students from Yemen studying at Simsbury High School.\gullidanda.

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