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Traditional Istrian game “Pljočkanje” gets UNESCO status

ZAGREB, 4 Dec (Hina) – The Istrian traditional game called “Pljočkanje” (flat stone throwing game), developed from a folk shepherds game, has been inscribed to UNESCO’s Register of Good Safeguarding Practices, Croatia’s Ministry of Culture and Media reported on Thursday.

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage positively assessed the multinational application, submitted by Italy, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus and France considering the preservation of traditional games.

“As part of coordinated efforts to safeguard traditional games and sports in Italy, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus and France, the Associazione Giochi Antichi launched Tocatì (‘it’s your turn’), a festival and platform uniting communities, groups and individuals that practice traditional games,” UNESCO has reported. 

Tocatì links traditional games and sports to the values of intangible cultural heritage, mobilizing thousands of players, volunteers, admirers and media actors.

Croatia proposed the inscription of “pljočkanje” to the list, within this initiative.

“Pljočkanje”is a traditional flat stone throwing game developed from a folk shepherds game (commonly played by children to waste away time while tending cattle) and was known throughout Istria. The main rule is to hit a smaller fist-sized stone called pljočkaš, bulin or balin with a larger palm-sized flat stone called pljočka from a certain distance. The aim is to throw the pljočka as close to the bulin and score a punat (point). The game was usually played until 11 or 13 points, exceptionally 15 or 21 points were collected.

The revival of this game has been ensured by a few enthusiasts and in 2020, Istrian Pljočkanje Association held a webinar on this topic.

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