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Friday, March 05, 2010

Traditional Games : Five Stones

This is a traditional game called "Five Stones" that kids in Singapore used to play long long time ago. (OK, I know readers from South East Asia would say it's not only Singapore. So let me add Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and other South East Asian countries too)

Stones are seldom used now. The 'stones' that are used now are made of leftover cloth and sewn into pyramids. They are filled with sand or beans.

Five Stones

Guess what I just found out today? People in South East Asia would have thought that this game originated here. But with a bit of searching over the Internet, I found out that this game is also played in India! They are known as Kallangal, Anchangal in the villages of Tamilnadu. (See info here)

Even more surprising is that the Koreans play this game too! They call it Gonggi. (Info from Wiki here, Youtube of it here.) Their rules are the same too!

I got even more surprised to find out that the French plays a similar game too! They call it Osselets. (Wiki in French here / translated to English here) Now are you as surprised as I am?  You can watch a YouTube of it here. I guess the only difference is that the French has a points system. Also when they throw the stones (they used bones), they leave it on the floor, the South East Asian and Korean version keep the stones in the hands. 


Five Stones

Here's a part of the poster that shows what it is all about. I think it was by the Singapore Sports Council. I would think they will introduce these traditional games at the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

What is Five Stones?

Hmm... It would be so interesting when the young athletes from the different country arrived in Singapore and when it's introduced to them, they would be saying: hey, that's the same game we have in our countries too!

Friends from all over the world, do you all have a same game too? What do you call it?


Zannnie said...

yes, i know this game. I played it when i was in my primary school...the other is the 'rubber bands' made into a rope and at different heights, the players jumped to 'cross' to the other side of it!

Rikki said...

it looks similar to a game of Jacks in the US:

i think my parents played it...but i'm not coordinated enough!

Ciki said...

love 5stones! (i think bcoz of muscle memory i can still rmbr what to do next even though i have not played it in ages!)

Unknown said...


That would be Zero Point! The rubber band ropes! And Zero Lion or something like that for lower ones?

Oooo... It seems this game is played in almost every country! This is getting interesting!

I wonder what other traditional games are also played by everyone everywhere!

you played too much when you were young that's why! hehe..

SP said...

I live in New Zealand now and they call them knucklebones here. I have seen metal knucklebone shapes and heavy plastic shapes. Give me the five stones anytime! These metal ones hurt!

doc said...

the girls play these, but the boys play 5 bottlecaps, remember?

those were certainly the good ol' days - now, it's nintendo & gameboy, & they all grow up wearing thick glasses!! ha ha!

Unknown said...

Ooo.. this game is everywhere!

oh yes, the bottlecaps. It's hard to get bottlecaps nowadays!

Thick glasses, there are now 'eye docs' which can zap your eyes and give you perfect eye sight. :-p