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Baranga Game

Baranga Game

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Published by elena.iorga4908

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Published by: elena.iorga4908 on Feb 23, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Baranga: a card game about culture
Aim:to make people discover the principles of culture and interactionbetween different culturesNumber of participants:minimum 16, maximum 60, divided in tables of 4 to 6 people ideallyMaterial:a deck of playing cards (with only cards from 1 to 7) per table, a tablenumber, a pen per table, a score sheet and the a different set of rulesper tableSetting:you put enough tables in a room far away from each other (so that theplayers can’t hear each other discussing the rules-a bit of music canserve the same purpose): the number of tables depends on thenumber of players. The material (see above) lies on the tableHow to play:You explain to the participants that the exercise is about non-verbalcommunication (do not tell them that it is a game about cultureotherwise the players will suspect the trick of the exercise already).Explain what material they will find on the tables and the differentstages of the game (see further). Ask if some people have alreadyplayed the game: they can be observers. The participants are seatedin smaller groups at the tables and are asked to learn to play a simplecard game, for which they had received the rules on paper. Theparticipants learn, explain and practice the rules at each table(questions should be dealt with discretely at the table according to therules they have).Once every table has read the rules and start to practice, the realtournament starts. From this moment onwards people are not allowedto speak anymore, nor use any written words. The players startcounting the scores & the sheets with the rules are taken away. After around of the tournament (10 minutes), the loser of each table goes atable down (the tables have a number) and the winning person goesup one table. Then the second round of the tournament starts for 10minutes. The winners and losers move again and a next round isplayed etc. (Four rounds is plenty). After the game you move indebriefing groups (see debriefing sheet), preferably not too biggroups.
Observers: they watch the reactions of the participants, especiallyafter moving tables. People usually start protesting, some startgiggling, some fists bang on the table. The newly formed groups of players realise that the rules are slightly different at each table (orsome don’t), but the aim is still to play the card game. Through non-verbal communication, the groups agree on rules and continue playing.People generally get better and better at the game, explaining andnegotiating the rules.Variation: if you have a very big group with 6 people at a table, youcan ask the two winners and the two losers of each table to movetablesYou can find a description and ordering information about this gamecalled "Barnga, a game about cultural clashes" atwww.bookmasters.com/interclt/.Debriefing: You start explaining that the game was a simulation andthat the most important moment of the game is the debriefing. Yougenerally start with a round of first reactions and impressions. Thenyou talk about what happened in the game. The next stage is then tomake the link with real life and last but not least you can ask whatthey would do differently next time.The principle behind the card game is the following: It is a simulationof cultural encounters. Everybody has an own set of rules (culturalnorms & behaviour) which you acquire in a first round of practising of the card game at your own table (socialisation during childhood). Therules become yours and you don't need the sheets of paper anymoreto be able to play the game (the parents don't have to tell youanymore how to greet visitors or how to eat appropriately forexample). You take your rules for granted. It becomes morecomplicated when you change tables (meeting different cultures) orwhen someone else from a different table comes and visit yours(immigrants or tourists for example). Sometimes players didn't evenrealise that the rules were different at another table (ethnocentrism)and just thought that the players there had misunderstood the game.There are different strategies in order to be able to continue playing agame (managing cultural differences). You can impose your originalrules, you can take the rules of the other (in order to win) or you cancreate a new game with new creative rules. Important in this processis communication, which was non-verbal in this simulation. The moreyou change tables (travelling, living in different countries, doingexchanges), the better you can deal with the differences, because you
already expect them to be different and you create some skills indiscovering the rules (intercultural sensitivity) and in negotiating themor adapting to them.

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