With an IMDb rating of 8.3 out of 10, Squid Game has taken the world by a storm and has been immovable from being the most watched series worldwide.
The show has been appreciated by critics and the audience for its sharp take on social and economic disparities in South Korea which has an uncanny resemblance with the problems faced in India.
What Does The Show Entail?
Seong Gi-hun, a divorced, poor and indebted chauffeur, is invited to play a series of children’s games for a chance at a large cash prize. Accepting the offer, he is taken to an unknown location and finds himself among 455 other players, all with similar large debts.
The players are kept under watch at all times by masked guards in pink suits, with the games overseen by the Front Man. The players soon discover that losing in these games results in their death, with each death adding ₩100 million to the grand prize.
Gi-hun allies with other players, including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, to try to survive the physical and psychological twists of the games.
Similarities Between Squid Games and Indian Games
According to Indians who’ve watched this intriguing drama series, Squid Games is very similar to all the games that we used to play in our childhood. For example,
Ddakji or Colour Man
This is a paper game where children pretend to find out what they are going to grow up to be in the future. The paper is folded eight times, with four famous characters or professions written inside and four colors to choose from on the outside. Each character or profession is hidden beneath the color you choose.
Red Light Green Light or Statue
The game played in the show is similar to the ones we’ve played in our childhood where the runners had to freeze the moment someone said statue.
A person starts out as the Curator and stands at the end of a field with everyone else on the other end. The object of the game is for a Statue to tag the Curator, and replace him.
The Curator turns their back to the field, and the Statues attempt to race across and tag the Curator. Whenever the Curator turns around, the Statues must freeze in position and hold them for as long as the Curator looks at them.
The Curator may even be allowed to walk around the Statues, examining them. If a Statue is caught moving, they are sent back to the starting line to begin again and if a statue gets sent back they must go all the way back.
Marbles Or Goti
This is a very famous Indian game and possibly one that everybody has played at least once in their childhood. Two teams are made and one circle is drawn in the middle. Each player gets a turn to shoot their marble into the circle.
Any marbles they knock out of the circle go to the shooter. Play rotates from shooter to shooter until all marbles are claimed. The player with the most marbles wins.
A similar game was shown in the fourth round of the Squid Game where teams of two were given two sets of ten marbles and were given the liberty to play in whichever way they pleased. The only catch was the winner must win all the marbles without the aid of violence.
The Title Itself – Squid Game or Chor Police
The Indian Chor Police is an outdoor role playing game where children are divided into two teams. One team assumes the role of a chor or a thief while the other team is the police within a narrative. The police chase the thieves and the moment all the thieves are caught, it’s game over.
A similar game is shown in the series.
One of the many reasons why Squid Games has left an imprint on the minds of Indians is because it refreshes childhood memories. Albeit gory, if one takes out the violence and the narrative, the series is actually a walk down memory lane.
The Plot Is Similar To The Bollywood Movie “Luck”
Directed by Soham Shah, the 2009 Bollywood movie Luck has an exactly similar plotline like Squid Games.
Moussa, a mafia leader, gives a bunch of poor people an opportunity to turn their luck around and earn a hefty amount. They are required to play deadly games while people bet on them.
According to the audience, the only difference between the two is that Squid Games has a better budget and the storyline is much more compelling than Luck.
Why Has Squid Games Received So Much Popularity In India?
Even if one were to turn a blind eye towards the conspicuous similarities, Squid Games owes its growing popularity in India to empathy.
The story revolves around people who desperately need money, compete with each other to play deadly games and the extent to which they would go to win the fortune offered by a bored millionaire.
It’s a similar scenario in India.
Poverty has been a problem ever since India has been an independent nation. More than half of its people sleep hungry every day. Pangs of hunger have forced people to indulge in inhuman activities – mothers selling off their children, robbery, bounty hunting, etc. Hunger is one of the driving forces of the nation.
Here people are more committed to fan their own agendas instead of thinking of the welfare of the community as a whole. The cry for food often propels the beggars to replace the idea of cleanliness with desperation such as eating off the leftover food of people, searching for food in the dustbins, etc.
For a developing country like India that is still trying to make both ends meet, Squid Games acts like a mirror on the socio-political and economic upfront of India.
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This post is tagged under Squid Games, Korean Drama series, Netflix, India, Similarity with India, socio-political factors, economic factors, most watched show in India, highest ranking, childhood games, ddakji, Luck, similar to Bollywood movie, compelling storyline