It has been a while but at long last, I bring you the fifth part of Games from Around the World. I love this series and plan to keep it going for as long as possible. I think learning about games from all over the globe is a beautiful way to reach across cultural gaps and find common ground in something we as humans all love, games!
In this week’s article, I am going to talk about two islands. I am ashamed to admit I have never heard of either before start5ing this article, but I am excited to learn more about them in my research. The islands are Faeroes and Maldives, and their games I’ll be talking about today are respectively Sjav and Digu.
I am always excited to learn about new things and places and taking the time to familiarize myself with Faeroes has been no different. Faeroes is an island in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. (look northwest of Scotland if searching on a map) It is home to over 50,000 people, and they have their native language called Faroese. The most popular card game played here is a game called Sjav.
Sjav is a 4-player trick-taking card game. Players play in partnerships of 2 players each. The goal of the game is to score more than 24 points to win games, the number of games that should be won to be the winners is determined by the players themselves. The game involves players determining the trump suit and competing to take tricks throughout the round. After the round is completed scoring is completed.
The Maldives is another island, or more accurately a notion of many islands, this time located in the Indian Ocean, specifically the Arabian Sea. (if looking on a map, look southwest of India) They are well known for their beautiful beaches, warm weather, and rich history and culture. One of the well-known games there is called Digu.
Digu is a 4 player Rummy game. It can be played as a partner game but is not mandatory. The game consists of players receiving 10 card hands, (the dealer receives 11 but then discards down to 10 as well) and using these cards to form sets and runs. These sets and runs are made of 3 or more cards and are created by players drawing and discarding from a stockpile. The first player to have all 10 of their cards in sets or runs wins and the remaining players are penalized for having cards remaining in their hands.
There you have it two beautiful games from two beautiful places. I look forwards to learning even more about these places and more places and games to come. I hope this also inspires someone out there to not only learn these games but to learn more about places they’ve never seen and maybe even spark a need to travel and experience this wonderful world we call home.