Saturday, October 24, 2009

Let's Play! - Jom Main !

Was it so long ago that I played five stones, skipping rope, hopscotch? Well, today, at the National Museum, Jalan Damansara , Kuala Lumpur, the good ol' days are back! I had a walk down memory lane as I couldn't resist joining some children and parents playing some traditional games.

Parents and children were happily playing games of yester years in this highly interactive exhibition , JOM MAIN!!' or 'Let's Play!' at the National Museum. The kids played with abandon from one game to another.

Traditional games are simple and easy to perform. Much fun is derived from the togetherness in playing. Also, they encourage teamwork, strategizing, thinking and developing individual skills.

One may ask.Can these games compete with the modern games all packaged with the wizardry of gadgets to astound us? Really, it's not about competition. Traditions always live if we continue them. Anyone can play these games that are handed down from generation to generation.

Dare I suggest, the next time, there's a teambuilding retreat, try as many of these games. They are pure sheer FUN , not mentioning the very minimal costs involved!

Call me a 'tomboy', if you want to! I played this game with gusto - with my legs in the air !! The feathers of the shuttle are attached to rubberised pieces at the base. Players stand in a circle. One player throws the shuttle in the air to the player opposite. The aim is to kick and keep the shuttle in the air with the feet as many times as possibe before the next player takes a turn.

One of the MVM ( Museum Volunteer Malaysia) volunteers couldn't believe my spinning top outlasted hers for a good minute! 'The best for the morning!', she exclaimed. The spinning top is a dried fruit of the berembang tree with a long bamboo spike driven through its core.

This is the 'whirring beetle' game. Use discarded soft bottle caps, beat them flat and bore 2 symmetrical holes in the middle. Pass a string through to tie up both ends. Player twirls string till tight with a series of tensions,then sets the cap in a spin . The aim is to cut the opponent's 'beetle'.

This game is a boy's favourite. These guli( stone marbles), made of limestone can still be found in shops. Be on the lookout for them. Play it on flat open ground. See how many flicks of the guli will propel one's guli to the opponent's side.

Yes, it's me having fun. The game is 'One Wheeler' ( Main gerek). Position the long pole over the shoulder and hold on to the short 'stabiliser rod. Then guide the little wheel round the the grid following the figure of 8. I had thrice the fun!!

Another group of MVM volunteers from Japan. The kids were engrossed in making origami,the art of paper folding. Some made horses, boat, star etc. I made a crane for good luck!

Congkak, a traditional Malay game - the winner is the person who gathers all the congkak seeds ( pebbles/tamarind seeds)on her side of the congkak board. It attracted all ages, including adults.

A MVM volunteer from KL showing how the puzzle works.

A game of draughts using bottle caps. Think! think and strategize!!

Lat,our nation's foremost cartoonist - kid having fun in One Wheeler( main gerek)

How the time flies when one is having fun! What a nostalgic visit!


  1. The only one I knew was the congak, the rest look pretty fun. What with DS and computers and WII these games will dissappear so It is good they are doing this activitiy at the museum.
    Good fun! Thanks, good post about traditional games.

  2. Looks like fun for the younger, limber, talented set You never cease to amaze me.

  3. Keats, you brought home memories :)

  4. Amazing! And it looks like lots of fun!

  5. Yup played all of them those days, bringing back the good times..thanks

  6. Hi everyone, thanks so much for your lovely comments.
    It's certainly FUN time at the National Museum. At least, the children can say they had a wonderful time!!

    Do revisit this blog to vote as the vetting is done. Thanks!

    Am concerned that the previous post ' Nine Empeoror Gods' has been pending since 22nd! and there has been no reply as yet. Shall write to them again

  7. hey! thanks for this post!

  8. It looks all FUN FUN FUN
    for chlidren and growing up people .... LOL ;)
    Lovely game post !!

    Thanks for your get well wishes :)

    Have a relaxing sunday

  9. Hi
    muminmalaysia, thanks for visiting! Have a good day!

    Anya, glad to hear from you :) Am busy this weekend - besides doing my blog post, also there's choir practice for a big charity event.

  10. I voted again!!

    Have a great Monday!!

  11. They are as good as any modern game, because they involve playing, not just watching!

  12. Hi Keats! Just a short visit to drop by and see this amazing return to old times!!! Great post!

    Blogtrotter is now at Santa’s Homeland, an anticipated gift before Christmas ;) Enjoy and have a great week!

  13. Hi
    Veronica lee, Am really happy you're following my posts for this competition. Thanks v much for your vote :))) I need all the help for the vote entry for till January for the grand prize !!

    Secretia, you're right - interactive games. No one is left out.

    GMG, thanks for 'flying' in! I had FUN with the kids and they were thrilled to see ME playing too! Enjoy and take care!

  14. Keats, thanks, its a great post. Bring so much memories.

  15. It is a long time since I played some interesting ones. It was great reading about them here.

  16. This is a great post, I even not knowing some of the games.Thanks for sharing.

  17. Hi
    febriana, I'm really glad this post has revived and brought back many memories of friends and readers. thanks for popping in again :)

    Indrani, how time flies! we can still play all of them, tho not so agile but it will be still full of fun!!

    Sonia, I'm glad you like this post. Full of memories :))

  18. What fun, Keats! I had wanted to drop by the Museum last week, but it rained all evening. I remember all these games! I come from a small town, remember? I loved Konda-Kondi best of all, even if you had to watch out for flying sticks! Yikes! Haa haa! I had those limestone marbles too. Some boys would source explosive compound powder for us and we would coat our marbles in the powder. When two such marbles come together at high speed, sparks literally fly! Such dangerous fun!

  19. Great to know you had fun Keats :) It's been way too long since I played kids should go :P

  20. Yestergay I played laser tag at the arcade for my son's birthday. I need a dose of these simpler pleasures - how fun!
    We've made the whirling beetles out of buttons. I love the tops made from dried fruits, too.

  21. HI

    ~Covert_Operations'78~, OOOh, I never played with fire!!! Good memories, eh? So, I say, play is for everyone. For one, I must not say I'm too old to play!!

    M.Kate, yes, these traditional games are made of areaca nut, berembang nuts, feathers, etc. and somehow, we've forgotten ourselves.

    adrienne, aah, for the simpler pleasures of life :) never too late as the fun element is enough to get everyone going!

  22. What a great post! My son loves making oragami.
    Thanks for stopping and your sweet comment on my site. Have a great week!

  23. HI yonca,
    thanks for visitng too! and your vote :))Origami is fun and I tried simple ones with my children like an owl, boat, or even the box. very interactive!


Great to have you popping in!