Traditional Malaysian Games

The games we played when were kids

Before the dawn PSP and computer games Malaysian children like children elsewhere, were really inventive in the games we played. We used whatever we could get our hands on. We used old tins, our slippers, rubber bands and so on. We were really environmental friendly back then, we recycled trash as our toys. The games we played were mainly played outdoors and we got a good workout from it. Nowadays children are more interested in their Nintendo, PSP or even Android phones, they missed all the fun we used to have. You will have a chance to experience some of these games when you stay at one of the homestay packages around Malaysia. Below are some games we played when we were small.


COLLECTIE_TROPENMUSEUM_Speelbord_voor_mancala_spel_TMnr_1585-120aThis is a game of strategy. Congkak is a game played by two people using a wooden board which has two rows of six small holes and two large holes on each end. The small holes are referred to as houses and the large holes are called storehouse. Shells or marbles are normally used to play this game. Player begin by scooping the 7 seeds from a cup and distributing them, one in each house. When they reach their storehouse they will put a seed in it but bypass the opponent’s storehouse. When the last seed enters the hole if there is some seed in it, the player takes all the seeds in it and continue putting in the holes moving clockwise . If the hole is empty when the last seed reaches, he stops and the opponent starts by taking seeds from any hole on his side until he reaches an empty hole. The game ends when all the seeds are placed in the storehouses. The winner is the person with the most seeds in his storehouse.

2. Galah Panjang

We used to use the badminton court for this game. The earliest schoolmate to reach school would sit on the badminton court to book it. This game is played in two teams. One team had to cross over to the other side of the badminton court, while the order team had to stop them from reaching the end. The team that had to stop them, had limited movement. They could only move along the lines of the court. If anyone of them touch the opposing team then, the person is out. Later they will switch sides. The winner is the team that has the most members reaching the end.

3. Teng teng or hopscotch

5343132142_2b3641118d_qThis game is normally played by girls but occasionally we joined in. A square diagram is drawn on the ground with chalk or etched in to soft sand. Player will take turns throwing a small stone into box number one. She tends hops on one foot in each box, picks up her stone and goes back to the end. Then she throws the stone in another box and goes back to the same routine. If the stone falls outside the box then she is out and the opponent take over. When hopping around she must avoid the line or drop the other feet to the ground. If she does then she is out.

4. Baling Tin

This game is played by two teams using a tennis ball or slipper. Ten empty cans are stacked up into a pyramid. A player from each team are given three throws to knock the pyramid down from a distance. When the tins are knocked down, the other team works together to arrange the teams in its original pyramid state, while the first team tries to stop them by throwing the slipper at the them. If the slipper touches any team member of the opposing team then they are out. But if the tins are arranged before the last member is out, then the teams arranging the tins wins.

5. Baling Slipper.

This game is played when there are no tins. What we did was take three slippers and stand them up in a piramid. The object of the game is the same as Baling Tin, where one team tries to knock down the slippers and the other team puts it back.


Chapteh is the homemade version of a badminton shuttlecock. We used to cut rubber bicycle or motorcycle tubes into a disc. Join three of this together by putting a nail in the middle and tie three or four feathers around the nail.with three or four colourful feathers. There are two ways of playing this game on is to see how many times you keep the capteh in the air using your feet only. One more is to make a circle and pass the chapteh from one person to the another player using only your feet or any part of your body except your hands. The person who drops the chapteh is out. The winner is the last person standing. The other game that we played with capteh was similar to dodgeball.


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