OF WINDS AND DRAGONS
Mahjong lessons have come to the area as a part of the Social Association in our community. This ancient game of tiles is not new to some community members. Originating in China, it first became popular in the Western World around 1920. At least two Oriental sets, circa 1920, were recently transported into Coronado from the U.S. Other very old sets were already here.
According to Mah-Jongg from Shanghai to Miami Beach (by Cavallero and Luu): “Mah-Jongg has an allure like no other game. The beauty of the tiles, intrigue of the play and the unique way that playing brings people together have all contributed to the game’s romance and enduring appeal…It is estimated that that about 5 million people all over the world play.”
Any way you spell it (mahjong, mahjongg, mah jong, majeet), people often play by rules that their friends use. Cunning and strategy are used by even beginning players, as seen with Gerry Walsh’s 61,0000 points at his third lesson!
Lessons here are from a modern Japanese version that was taught at the Tokyo American Club in the 1990’s. It is thought that the Japanese managed to simplify the rules of mahhjong without altering the essence of the original Chinese version.
There are also American, Jewish, and recently, Interactive Internet versions.
On June 17, CNN reported on the 3 day First Annual World Series of Mahjong was held in Macao, China, with prizes awarded to equal one million dollars. According to CNN, it appears that Mahjong Tournaments are soon to be televised just like games of poker. Since Mahjong has world-wide followers of all ages, the winners of this tournament were of all ages. A player of 50 years was the winner, with a young Chinese actress in the top five. For details http://www.world-series-mahjong.com/media.htm
You may overhear people talking about pongs, kongs, and chis and just understand that there’s a new language around, the language of Mahjong.
You can learn to play an ancient game that has been played for thousands of years. Suggested donation to the Social Association is $1/lesson. Four lessons, with emailed instructions are taught by Deborah Turl. Contact: Deborah Turl, 6436 8665 for more information. Classes are Monday evenings at 7 pm and/or Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. Check http://playacommunity.com for updates as to location.