[From Saudi Arabia] 4 Popular Children’s Games from Around the World

2022.01.08

Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country located near the equator in the Middle East. There are currently more than 110 Japanese companies operating in Saudi Arabia. There is even a Japanese school in the capital city. Japan is Saudi Arabia’s second-largest export partner and there are cultural and economic exchanges between the two countries.
In this article, we will cover the characteristics of the educational system in Saudi Arabia as well as the popular activities participated in by children in the country.

【サウジアラビア編】外国の子どもに人気の遊び4つ

What are the characteristics of Education in Saudi Arabia?

Although boys and girls go to kindergarten together, for religious reasons, boys and girls go to separate schools from elementary school on. The school teachers, parents who visit the classes and even the PTA are all segregated by gender. Children are required to go to school for 6 years of elementary and 3 years of junior high school and they learn about Islam and the Quran. Boys are trained to become members of the religious community and are educated to incorporate traditional Islamic values into their daily lives. After graduating from junior high school, students choose their desired course of study and take an examination administered by the Ministry of Education. The exam mainly consists of Islamic and Arabic with some questions related to science and mathematics. However, Prince Muhammed is expected to make some changes to the Islamic based educational system along with economic reforms to de-oil the country over the next few years.

Popular activities among Saudi Arabian children

Family gatherings with grandparents

In Saudi Arabia, Fridays and Saturdays are days of rest. On Fridays, men go to the mosque to pray and attend the noon mass prayer time. Spending time with one’s family is considered very important in Saudi Arabia so children often hang out at their grandparents’ house and enjoy watching TV, chatting and playing cards together.

Japanese Animation, Games and Comics

In recent years, the Japanese anime, games and manga industry has been attracting attention in addition to the popular oil industry. Many of the popular Japanese anime series, like “Chibimaruko-chan”, “Doraemon” and “One-Piece” have been dubbed into Arabic for children to enjoy.

Entertainment facilities in Shopping Malls

Saudi Arabia has a desert climate with little rainfall and very high temperatures. Therefore, many people enjoy indoor activities throughout the year such as KidZania and other entertainment facilities located in the shopping malls. There are many zoos and amusement parks but men and women have to take turns using them. A new complex called Ithra has recently been built and it includes a movie theater, museum, library, indoor play park, children’s museum and art gallery.

Playing outdoors in the desert

When it is cooler outside, at night time and during the Winter months, families enjoy spending time outdoors. Some popular activities include renting a tent, playing outdoor sports such as soccer and running, and hanging out at the beach near the crystal clear Red Sea.

Many people in Saudi Arabia, an Islamic and oil-rich country, are said to be generous and optimistic. Allowing your child to interact with and learn about children from a different culture, like Saudi Arabia, is a great way to help them become open-minded and caring individuals. There are many international preschools in Japan that can provide this experience so please check out the options near you.

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