One bored Indian released the desi version of the popular card game Cards Against Humanity called The Best Bored Game. However, this isn’t the first time there was a desi twist to a popular American game. A few years ago, Priya Shah recreated the magic of Taboo! with her desi version titled Desi Chaat.
She left a job at a marketing firm to create the company Culturally Inclined Productions and develop Desi Chaat. However, the idea for the game came to her while she was still in college. Shah graduated from Rutger’s University in 2011 with a degree in economics and communications. While in school she was very involved with the South Asian community taking part in Diwali and Holi events in college but there was a lack of games to play for South Asians at these events.
Shah was determined to create something for her peers and family so they had something else to play besides Antakshari, cheesy charades, and Carrom. She also wanted to change the mentality of South Asian youth so they are more accepting of their cultural differences.
In an interview with Brown Girl Magazine, Shah shared this:
“I feel like a lot of South Asians neglect their heritage because of embarrassment, which startles me–you have the resources around you to understand a different language, different music styles, different food, to know the ways of a different land and we’re pretty lucky to have that opportunity! I want this game to shift that “ABCD” mentality (especially in children and teenagers) to an outlook where they understand the benefits and take advantage of this knowledge. What was the most surprising, was the amount of support I received and the enthusiasm behind the game! It was so awesomely overwhelming because I didn’t know if people would take it seriously or not! The reactions have been so heartwarming!”
Desi Chaat is the perfect game night addition to bring the family together over some healthy competition. Shah’s version of the game has the same rules as Taboo and it comes with a pencil, an hour-glass timer, card tray holder, scorecard, a buzzer and cards that range in difficulty. Each card has a target word at the top of the card the player has to guess with a list of keywords that are taboo for the person describing the target word to use in his or her description.
The words could be in English like “Medicine,” “Palace,” “Cricket,” or “Playback Singer.” The harder levels include common desi words and phrases like “Gulaab,” “Goonda,” “Ayo,” “Dumb Charades,” “Desi Dawaai,” and even “Sony TV.” The easy level of cards have more global words and the desi words all have a translation written on them so people of all ethnicities can play.
You can pick up a Desi Chaat game from Edison, NJ or order one online at Amazon. Since Desi Chaat, Shah has worked as a product and graphic designer specializing in South Asian digital designs. She’s has also created custom SnapChat filters for events like weddings and worked with apps like SportOn.
Today she’s using her digital skills to do some pretty cool things at Giphy as a Content Development Manager. After the success of Desi Chaat, let’s hope Shah returns to the game world to bring us another desi game soon!
Images by Culturally Inclined.