In Nepal we have strange, unique riddle games of words. A cryptic question is asked and if you can answer it correctly you can have your choice of village. That is how the game was named “Gau Khane Katha” which roughly translates into “Village eating story” :D.
Due to the nature of language and unique socio-cultural nature on which they are formulated most of the riddles can’t be translated into English — at least not with the aura they pose in their original form. Some examples of popular riddles are given below:
Wears clothes when small but lives naked when grown up. What’s it?
The answer can be a bamboo. It is covered in leaves when small but the leaves fall off when it grows and is naked.
The answer highly depends on the creators vision but it needs to makes sense … at least to whom it is asked. The questions and answers are funny and convey the socio-cultural aspect on which it is created. Another example:
One brother dances, five brothers watch and four brothers hide. What’s it?
This question and it’s answer won’t make much sense in the western world. The answer is ‘preparing tobacco’. The people in South Asia prepare tobacco on their palm of a hand grinding with the thumb of another hand. The five fingers idly watch the procedure of grinding of the thumb while four fingers hide below the palm in the procedure.
I wish there were much extensive study done on these unique style of telling riddles. Many of these riddles are not documented and are transferred through generations as words of mouth. Some are documented in some books but many are told and forgotten.