"'Sorida' is a term of greeting in the Shona language, similar in use to jambo in Swahili, or perhaps shalom in Hebrew." -Let Your Voice be Heard (1986)

"Sorida" is played as a hand clapping game. It's also popular for choruses to sing.

You can repeat these verses in any order you want, as many times as you'd like.

Sorida - Zimbabwean Children's Songs - Zimbabwe - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World  - Intro Image

Game Instructions

There are different ways to play this game. Here's one way:

Partners face each other...

1. On "Sorida" - Each partner puts their hands up with the palms facing out. Each hand should make an outwards circle and then clap at the bottom of the circle. Do these actions twice.

2. On "Ri-da" - Each partner puts their hands together and taps the back of the other partner's hands on one side (on "ri") and then claps (on "da"). Then tap the back of your partner's hands on the other side (on "ri") and clap (on "da"). Do these actions twice.

3. On "da da da" - Each partner puts their hands together and taps the back of the other partner's hands on one side (da), then the other side (da). Then clap (da). Do these actions twice.

4. On "ri-da" - Each partner puts their hands together and taps the back of the other partner's hands on one side (on "ri"), then the other side (on "da"). Do these actions twice.

Comments

Not everyone agrees that Sorida is a word of Greeting. I've seen this question come up in emails and on other sites on the internet. Here's one email about it...

Misodzi Sithole (who's Ndau) wrote:

"I do not call Sorida as a word of greeting but rather a nonsense line that precedes a whole rhyme with the familiar call and response pattern as follows:

(Cantor) Sorida
(Response) Sorida reda reda
(Cantor) Da da da
(Response) Dada dare dareda
(Cantor) Ndiani? Who is that?
(Response) Ndiani ani ani? Who is that, that, that?
(Cantor) Ndi--------(provide a person's name)
(Response) Ndi---- ---- ----
(Cantor) Unodei? What does he/she want?
(Response) Unodei, dei, dei? What does he/she want, want want?
(Cantor) Maputi Roast dry corn/popcorn
(Response) Maputi, puti, puti Popcorn, corn, corn
(Cantor) Ari pai? Where are they?*
(Response) Ari pai, pai, pai? Where are they, they they?

*Note it is they instead of it because for us maputi are classified as a countable noun as opposed to the collective noun in English.

And it keeps going on and sometimes to keep time you play as partners and will be clapping hands in time with the rhythm of the rhyme. As you can observe it is cyclical and it has some important triplets in the response adding to that poetic effect that makes it sing-song."

I asked Misodzi if "Sorida" should be listed as being in the Shona language or one of the Shona dialects. Here was her response: "Sorida is not dialect specific; my children who grew up in a multi-ethnic and multi-dialect Zimbabwean city would also play it at school with all their mates from different backgrounds. So, I would have it, the language, as Shona."

"It is a patty-cake game when the "Ri da ri da" part comes in, and the kids are to flutter their hands in the air on the "SOoooo " part of Sorida." -Holly Gilster

Listen

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Many thanks to Holly Gilster for sharing her mp3 recording with us!

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In this following video, the hand clapping game is played in a similar way as we describe it in the Game Instructions...
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Sheet Music

Sheet Music - Sorida

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Misodzi Sithole for sharing info about this rhyme!

Thanks to Monique Palomares for the illustration.

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