Traditional Games of Malaysia
Wau (Kite Flying)
See the dazzling display of kites gliding and swooping across the azure sky! Once played by farmers on leveled ground after post-harvesting season, it now attracts people from all walks of life. Over the years, kite festivals have encouraged creativity in kite-making, thus resulting in kites that are designed in the shape of a fish, cat, caterpillar, and bird. But the Kelantanese wau-bulan (moon-kite) still remains as popular as it was years ago.
Sepak Raga Bulat (Rattan Ball Game)
Once a game of village youths, sepak raga bulat has become a popular sport among the young urban males. Players standing in a circle keep a rattan ball aloft with any part of their body except their hands. The ball is kept in constant motion without hands touching it.
Chingay (Balancing Giant Flags)
Malaysians of Chinese descent who are known for their acrobatic skills, display their prowess during the Chingay Procession, which is associated with the year-end Penang Festival. Performers balance huge poles with enormous triangular flags, on their forehands, chins, lower jaws and shoulders.
Gasing (Giant Top Spinning)
Giant top spinning is no child’s game! Each gasing or top weighs approximately 5kg. It calls for strength, coordination, and skill. The gasing, if expertly hurled, can spin for as long as 2 hours. Top spinning competitions are an annual feature in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia especially Kelantan and Terengganu.
Congkak (Board Game)
Congkak is a game of wit played by womenfolk in ancient times that required no more than holes in the earth and tamarind seeds. Today, it has been refined to a board game. It consists of a wooden board with two rows of five, seven, or nine holes and two large holes at both ends called “home”. Congkak, played with shells, pebbles or tamarind seeds, requires two players.