Many people, especially including those who are a constant part of the online gaming community, know Mahjong as the simple tile eliminating and matching solitaire game. On the other hand, a Chinese national will probably think you are stupid to play that online version. The real Mahjong has deep roots in the Chinese culture. The game is a key aspect for socializing. Chinese don’t only consider the game a healthy way to pass time but believe it to be a great exercise for the human brain. The reason is the strategic thinking involved in playing the real multi-player version of Mahjong.
Mahjong and the Chinese Culture
Mahjong is one of the most commonly played table top games in China and some other parts of Asia. Playing Mahjong is beyond playing just a simple game in the Chinese culture. It is a vital part of the Chinese lifestyle. Mahjong is about bringing people together in a traditional manner and enhancing the capabilities of the mind. In a world where people have become more accustomed to texts and calls, old ways of communication, making friends and breaking barriers exist in the traditional Chinese culture in the form of Mahjong.
Significance of Mahjong in the Chinese Culture
Mahjong is a very significant part of the Chinese culture. Some would say that both go hand in hand. In the Chinese culture, this game is considered as a sign of peace and friendship; two things that need to be promoted across the world in the tough times of today.
An invitation to play Mahjong in China is the equivalent of extending a hand of friendship. The game still remains a key source of entertainment in Chinese homes and can be seen as part of several occasions like childbirth, weddings, holidays, weekends and the Chinese New Year.
Mahjong as a Status Symbol
It is quite uncommon to think that a simple game could be seen as a status symbol. It says quite a lot about the importance of Mahjong when you come to know that it is also seen as a sign of elite status among the Chinese community. Owning a set of ivory tiles for playing Mahjong is considers as a status symbol.
Variations of the Game
Mahjong was traditionally associated with the Chinese culture. However, over the years, the popularity of the game spread through other parts of the Asian region as well. This has led to the development of several versions of the game. The basic rules of playing Mahjong remain the same but the rules for scoring; the number of tiles used to play and tile designs may vary. One can easily adapt to playing the different versions if they possess the basic knowledge about the game.
Today, due to the advent of the online gaming platforms, people are more familiar with the solitaire version. However, the traditional multi-player version still preserves the originality of the game. It can be safely said that the traditional Chinese version of the game will always be better than the solitaire version.