Songs and rhymes in Dari

Follow along with Maryam Sarwari, Samina and Misam as they teach us songs and rhymes in Dari: Coo Coo Maple Leaf and Polka Dot Ball.

Meet Maryam Sarwari
Learn the rhyme Coo Coo Coo Maple Leaf

Learn the song Polka Dot Ball

Learn about the language through information and stories

Meet Maryam Sarwari

Maryam Sarwari sings with Samina (age 5) and Misam (age 5). Maryam was born in Afghanistan. She works in Burnaby and presents a weekly children's show in Dari for Ariana TV.

Coo Coo Coo Maple Leaf

This rhyme is traditionally recited in Afghanistan by girls. "Zamzam" refers to the well located in the Masjid al-Haram (Sacred Mosque) in Mecca.  Pomegranates are a major fruit crop in many areas of Afghanistan. This song is included in the book Childen's Songs from Afghanistan.

Print the words to this rhyme [PDF]
Find ideas for using this rhyme in a program about food

Coo Coo Coo Maple Leaf Dari version

Qu Qu Qu Barg-e Chin-aar
Qu qu qu barg-e chin-aar
Dukhtar-aa sheeshta qat-aar
Mee-chee-nan daan-e an-aar

Kaash-kay kaftar may-boo-dum
Da ha-wa par may-za-dum
Aw-e-zam zam may-khor-dum

Sher guft alla-alla
Ma guf-tum dard-o ba-lla

Coo Coo Coo Maple Leaf
Coo coo coo maple leaf
The girls are sitting in a row
Picking out seeds from the pomegranates

I wish I were a dove
Flapping my arms in the air
Drinking Zamzam water

Lion roared, "Ouch! Ouch!"
I said "Pain and misfortune on you!"

Polka Dot Ball

The strong rhythm of Polka Dot Ball mimics the sound of a bouncing ball. This song is traditionally sung in Afghanistan by boys and is included in the book Children's Songs from Afghanistan.

Print the words to this song [PDF]
Find ideas for using this song in a program about shapes

Polka Dot Ball Dari version

Tu-pak-e man Khaal Khaal-eest
Tu-pak-e man khaal khaal-eest
Gerd-o qa-shang gul gul-eest
Tu-pak-e man khaal khaal-eest
Gerd-o qa-shang gul gul-eest

Za-nam za-meen may-ra baa-laa
Choon-kay mia-nesh khaal-eest
Za-nam za-meen may-ra baa-laa
Choon-kay mia-nesh khaal-eest

Tup-e  az-ee zak-e man
Bia ba pesh-ak-e man
Tup-e az-eez-zam too baa-sh
May-ree baash baa too may-rum
Ha ha ha

Polka Dot Ball
My little ball has polka dots on it
Round and beautiful with flower pints
My little ball has polka dots on it
Round and beautiful with flower pints

I bounce it on the ground; it bounces up
Because it is hollow inside
I bounce it on the ground; it bounces up
Because it is hollow inside

My dear little ball
Come close to me
My dear little ball, you stay
If you are going, wait, I'll go with you.
Ha ha ha

Learn about the language through information and stories

Dari is the Afghan dialect of Farsi. It’s one of the two official languages of Afghanistan (the other is Pashto). Did you know that Dari is written with a form of the Arabic alphabet? As in Arabic, words are written from right to left.

Learn five welcoming phrases in Dari
Find information and stories about Afghanistan