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BINGO! Six Tips for a Great Night

Bingo cards

If you have ever been to the Islands since the Islands are Islands, chances are you stumbled upon the PHENOMENON that is bingo in the Îles de la Madeleine in at least one of the following ways:

a) You turned on the radio on a weeknight in your car and heard a series of numbers and letters with no clear connection;

b) You wondered what so many people could possibly be doing to fill up the parking lot of a recreation centre in the middle of the afternoon...

This phenomenon, even though not unique to the Islands (it goes as far as Italy!), is striking for many newcomers. You have to experience a night of bingo on the Islands to feel like you really are "part of the crew."

So, as a "Bingo God" sent down from heaven, let me introduce you to the commandments of a great night of bingo!

1. You shall use placemats.

Because a night of bingo requires pitounes, and not any pitounes. Forget about pencils; you need a stamp marker ... and old plastic placemats so you don't leave unattractive marks on the kitchen table.

2. You shall buy MANY cards.

Cartes de bingo

There's nothing worse than playing bingo with only one or two cards. For the real experience, you need at least six of them — that's when bingo becomes a PHYSICAL ACTIVITY in addition to being a game of chance. Nothing beats running after your cards to create a communion effect between the payers.

3. You shall turn up the volume of your radio.

How to ruin a night of bingo? By not putting the volume loud enough. All of a sudden, everybody becomes super tense (of course! This game is no joke!), and no one can laugh without being reprimanded by others. Turn up the volume to make things easier for everyone.

4. You shall bring a bottle of wine.

And why not bring a little snack with cheese and deli meats alongside! The idea is to be able to take a bite once in a while, when luck isn't on your side. That way, even though you don't win the game, you'll be able to enjoy something other than victory (aka incredible local products). 

Soirée BINGO à la maison acadienne! #bingo #vivreauxiles #célébration

Une publication partagée par Nathaël Molaison (@saluerlamer) le 18 Mai 2017 à 3 :57 PDT


5. You shall let go of all seriousness.

Let's face it, chances of you winning are pretty low. But the fun of the game can't be bought, you need to make it happen. It's a great opportunity to have a taste of the island tradition. Do yourself a favour, and let your pride behind.

6. You shall remember key sentences.

One of the greatest joys of bingo is to share beads of tradition, like the one saying you have to be aware of where the winning card was bought and assert that the ones "who don't need it" always win.

As they say, once you try it, you'll keep wanting more. Share your experience with the hashtag #fousdesiles, because one thing I know, is I can never get enough of bingo!

Par Nathaël Molaison

I came back on the Islands three years ago, and each day, I (re)discover the little details, the subtleties and — most importantly — the inspiration that this place brings me. In each and every one of my projects, I write a little piece of what makes us different and unique beings.

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