Within the first day in Nagaland, Brian and I noticed that there were kids playing everywhere. They traveled in groups of 2-10, often without any adults in sight. When I asked one young man (6 or 7 years old?) what he was doing, he responded "Just kid-roaming."
When I thought about how kids play in the U.S., I immediately thought of Little Leagues, music lessons, and specialized clubs. While there are, of course, spectacular things that come from these organized events, there may also be a significant amount of pressure. I wonder if we have done any damage by controlling the boundaries that kids play within and by placing such emphasis on adult supervision. It's, of course, not an "all-or-nothing" scenario. Naga youth participate in organized events and American youth have free time to explore. I don't remember, however, the last time I saw so many "kid-roamers" and, as far as I could see, they looked pretty happy.