Types of Games

Assalammualaikum and evening to all...

In Malay culture, there are 5 types of traditional games that are very popular in Malaysia. These types of traditional games are differ in terms of their own history,  characteristics, the reasons people play the games and more.


The word ‘Wau’ was derived from the Arabic letter ‘Wau’ as the shape of the wing resemblances to the outline of the particular letter.  It was also said that the farmer in the past used Wau to scarecrow to ward off the birds from their paddy fields. In Malaysia, the most popular of all the Wau’s is ‘Wau Bulan’. It is was certain that the name fits one of the three country’s official kites, where the names takes the after the shape of the moon as the tail of the Wau itself look like to the crescent.

  • History

The origin of the ‘Wau Bulan’ was said to exist during the days of the Srivijaya Empire, in which according to the legend, a young prince named Dewa Muda used Wau to mapped out the districts that he already conquered on the Wau, in which he will then display and tell to his people. Before he went to the war, Dewa Muda would meditate to gain his experience spiritual intuitions where he went into the deep of the cave. When he wanted to leave the cave, he frequently appears with the wire frame that was believed to be the wire frame of a ‘Wau Bulan’. The patterns of the flowers and leaves on the Wau were said to represent the districts that he already conquered. Thus, whenever he went from the battle, the patterns (flowers and leaf) on his Wau will continuously to ‘grow’, symbolising how strong his empire at that moment. The fabled beliefs claim that the Dewa Muda had a spiritual link to his Wau. Some people also believed that he obtained extraordinary spiritual advice by flying up to the heavens on his ‘Wau Bulan’ and developed the spiritual relationships with the inhabitants of another world.

  • Characteristics of Wau

Compared to the traditional size of Wau bulan, the other kites is quite small. It was measures 2.5 meters wide and 3.5 meters long. Thus, there are lots of spaces that can be used for the decorations for the kite. The typical colour for the kites usually strong coloured patterns or bright colours to make it looks more extraordinary.   As for the designs, Wau Bulan usually differs of the floral drawings with the thick lines to ensure that the kite can really go far from the other kites that fly with it. Also, with this Wau Bulan, it has a stringed bow that was attached to it. This will produce a very soft wailing tone when it was flown away in the sky.

  • Types of Wau

Today, there are many types of Wau and the most widely known is Wau Kikik which is Malay kites. It is the simple tailless kite that was shape as the diamond. Besides, there are many other widely known Wau that was available such as Wau Bulan (Moon Kite), Wau Kucing Kite), and Wau Jalabudi (Women Kite). These types of Wau are considered as the National Kites and it was made as the main item in the national kite competitions. While Wau Daun (Leaf Kite) was made as an optional in the competitions.

(owned-up by states of Perlis, Perak and Selangor respectively) 

(owned-up by states of Negeri Sembilan, Johore and Terengganu respectively)

(owned-up by states of Kelantan, Kedah and Sarawak respectively) 


Congkak(Congklak) is a mancala game of Malay origin played in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Thailand and also some parts of Sumatra and Borneo.
The word congkak was believed originated from the old Malay ‘congak’, gives meaning as mental calculation that was practiced in this game. It was considered that a good player will have an advantage in collecting points to win the game when the player calculates a few steps in advance.

  • History

The oldest mancala game that was found in a abandoned castle of Roman Egypt and back to the 4th Century AD. This game was likely introduced to Southeast Asia by Indian or Arab traders in 15th century. It was spread all over Malay world through the dealers via Malacca where at that time the trading post is very important. Early years back then, it was thought that the game was for the king and family residents only. But, it was spread to the general population if the kingdom later on. Other than Malays, the Indian Peranakan also loves this traditional game.
  • How to Play Congkak

  1. The congkak board consists of two rows of 7 holes called the 'houses' and two bigger holes called the 'storehouse'.

2. Before the game starts the 'houses' are filled with seven congkak seeds each while the 'storehouses' are left empty.

3. Both players begin simultaneously by scooping up all the shells in any house on their side. Each drops a shell into the next 'house' and continues clockwise depositing one shell into every house thereafter. A player drops a shell into his 'storehouse' each time he passes it but does not deposit any into his opponent's 'storehouse'.

4. How the game continues, depends on where the last shell of each scoop is deposited.
  • IF THE SHELL DROPS INTO THE PLAYER'S OWN 'STOREHOUSE': The player scoops up the shells from any of his 'houses' and distributes them in the cups ('houses') round the board but not in his opponents's 'storehouse'.
  • IF THE SHELL DROPS INTO A 'HOUSE' (on either side of the board) CONTAINING SHELLS: The player scoops up all the shells in that 'house' and continues distributing them as described above.
  • IF THE SHELL DROPS INTO THE PLAYER'S 'HOUSE' WHICH IS WITHOUT SHELLS: The player is entitled to collect the shells in his opponent's 'house' directly opposite his own. These shells collected from his opponent's house together with his last shell are deposited in his own 'storehouse'. If the opponent's 'house' opposite his own is empty, he deposits only his last shell in his own 'storehouse'. He forfeits his turn and stops playing. It is the opponent's turn now to distribute the shells.
  • IF THE SHELL DROPS INTO AN EMPTY 'HOUSE' BELONGING TO THE OPPONENT: The player forfeits his turn and stops playing. He also forfeits his shell and leaves it in the opponent's 'house'. It is the opponent's turn now to distribute the shells.
5The first round ends when a player has no more shells on his side.

6. Play resumes in the second round with players redistributing shells from their own 'storehouse' to their own 'houses'Beginning from left to right, seven shells are placed in each 'house'. If a player does not have sufficient shells to fill his own 'houses', the remaining cups are left empty and are considered 'burnt'. The leftover shells are deposited into his own 'storehouse.' The opponent deposits excess shells he has won into his own 'storehouse'.

7. The loser gets to start the second round. Play is continued as before but players will bypass 'burnt houses' for instance no shells are to be dropped into these houses. If a shell is accidentally dropped into a 'burnt house', it is confiscated and stored in the opponent's 'storehouse'.

8. Play continues until one player loses all his 'houses' or concedes defeat.

* To learn better and understand more, you can watch this video ---> How to Play Congkak

  • The Objectives of Playing Congkak
The objectives of playing congkak is to get rid of all the seeds by moving them across over your enemy while placing each of your seed or marbles into your own house or pit. The games end where the winner either the one with the most seeds in his or her house or the first to empty his row of holes. 

  • Equipment Needed
1. Congkak boards
2. Objects

Rubber seeds

Batu Seremban/ Batu 

It is was a historical and heritage kind of traditional game, unique and differ. The game was inherited from the great grand generation of descendants before world of civilisation.
  • History

The games was believed to be found and practiced in popular area of Malaya(Malaysia), Philippines and  all part of Malaya and Indonesia and also the surrounding islands, Palau(Pulau), Micronesian, far east pacific islands; Vanuatu, Tuvala, Fiji, Cococs Island, Guam and so on Southern Asia plate and Indian continent, Indochina and northern pacific area, by Burma, Laos and Cambodia aborigines.

The game also being played by Inuit and Eskimo in Northern part of Canada, east and west Siberia and Shakalin Island, where the evidence was found in southern and eastern part of Africa, played by nomadic, Taureg and Badwin, Central America by Inca and Maya inhabitant, by the Red Indian on top of Andes plattue of southern America, Chile, Bolivia and Peru tribes.
  • How to Play Batu Seremban

Step 1:
Throw all 5 stones. Whilst throwing a stone, pick up 1 stone and catch the stone in the air before it falls to the ground. Do this for each of the stones on the ground.

Step 2:
Repeat step 1 but pick up 2 stones at a time.

Step 3:
Repeat step 1 but pick up a combination of 3 stones and 1.

Step 4:
Throw all 5 stones. Pick up 4 stones whilst 1 stone is in the air and catch the later before it falls to the ground.

Step 5:
Whilst throwing 1 stone, place the 4 on the ground. Throw 1 stone up again and catch it whilst picking all 4 stones on the ground.

Step 6:
Throw all 5 stones on the ground. The opponent selects a stone to be thrown in the air. The player has to pick this stone without moving any others. The player throws the stone in the air and picks the remaining on the ground in one clean sweep.

If the player fails in step 6, automatically the turn will revert to the opponent. Once the opponent fails to complete the turn, her or his will return to the incomplete step, starting from the first step.

*To learn and understand more on how to play batu seremban, you can watch this video. It will show you different style ofof how you can play batu seremban for different round. Interesting, isn't it?

  • The Objectives of Playing Batu Seremban
The aim of playing this game is to throw one of the stones one at a time and sweeping another on the floor all together catching the one you threw earlier on. This game continues to advance stages where the game gets complicated. 

In China, old folks playing their version of Batu Seremban using animal bones.

  • Equipment Needed

This game was played using 5 or 7 pieces of objects usually made of small stone, beads, fruits seeds, beans, nut or nutshell, or even bones and (originally) hard wood but not these days. Today, they already improvised using marble or small bags of sand/stone or beans. It depends on the players to choose what kind of objects they wanted to used.


Small stones were used back days to play congkak, but today there are many kind of other objects that already being improvised to use as an objects to play Batu Seremban

Sepak Takraw

Also known as sepak raga, is a traditional ball game where the ball that was made by weaving strips of buluh or bamboo, is passed on using any part of the body except lower arms and hands. There are 2 main types of sepak takraw; bulatan(circle) and jaring(net). Sepak raga bulatan originated form in which players form a circle and try to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible while sepak takraw jaring is the modern version in which the ball is passed across a court over a high net. Sepak takraw is widely known. But different country called sepak takraw with different name.  

Malaysia = Sepak Raga
Philippines = Sipa
Singapore = Sepak Raga or Sepraga
Thailand = Takraw
Brunei = Sepak Raga Jala
Burma = Ching Loong
Indonesia = Rago (South Sulawesi)
Laos = Kator
  • History

Takraw was originated in South-East Asia. It was thought that Thai and Malay people played the game as far back the 15th century. It was recorded that the game existed in Wat Phra Kaew (temple serves as a resting place for the Emerald Buddha). This temple in Bangkok(Thailand), contains paintings portraying he Hindu god, Hanuman, playing takraw in a ring with a troop of monkeys. Other historical recorded that the game being played during the reign of King Naresuan (1590-1605).

However, they are many lies and debate existed in this history where many other countries also claiming it as their own. Some also believes that it was practiced from the same game played by the Chinese military that was thought to have spread through trade with China.
  • Techniques and Rules
·        1. Sepak Takraw is basically foot badminton/volleyball.
       2. Played on a similar court to doubles badminton, with the server serving in the middle of the back half of     the court.
·      3. Having served (volley kicked) a throw from the net by a team mate, the ball must then travel over the net to begin play.
·      4. The opposing team will then try to volley the ball back over the net into the oppositions court.
·      5. Each team may have as many as three touches between themselves, but in order to win a point, the ball must land in the oppositions court, if it lands outside, it will be the opposing teams point.
·      6. Points are played up to 21.. Unless a 20-21 score line is archived, then you must win by two clear points.

These are the basic rules to get you on track to play Takraw in the official way (see below for more comprehensive rules), we also encourage all kinds of practice as it will make you a more versatile player, try out tricks, make up new games, and play Original Takraw (The variation where a circle of people keep the Takraw in the air)
  • The Court

  1. Area of 13.4m x 6.1m free from all obstacles up to the height of 8m measured from the floor surface (sand and grass court not advisable).
  2.  The width of the lines bounding the court should not be more than 0.04m measured and drawn inwards from the edge of the court measurements. All the boundary lines should be drawn at least 3.0m away from all obstacles. 
  3. The Centre Line : The Centre line of 0.02m should be drawn equally dividing the right and left court.
  4.  The Quarter Circle : At the corner of each at the Centre Line, the quarter circle shall be drawn from the side-line to the Centre Line with a radius of 0.9m measured and drawn outwards from the edge of the 0.9m radius.
  5.  The Service Circle : The Service Circle of 0.3m radius shall be drawn on the left and on the right court, the centre of which is 2.45m from the back line of the court and 3.05m from the side-lines, the 0.04m line shall be measured and drawn outward from the edge of the 0.3m radius.

Video on how you can practice sepak takraw at your home. 

  • The Serve and Ball

The player who kicks a serve surely puts a leg (shaft foot) in the service circle, and takes a toss from the player who went into the quoter circle (the semicircle of a radius 90 cm done around the contact point of the centre line and the side-line), and kicks the ball.

When a game begins by one serve, a ball can be touched by the attack of one time to three times. You can use a head, a back, legs, and anywhere except for the arm from the shoulder to the point of the finger.
There are 2 kinds of balls of the thing that the thing edited in the stem of 9-11 rotten, and the shape was imitated with the plastic and which was made. A ball made of the plastic is being used as an official ball from the 11th Beijing Asian convention.

The weight of the ball is 170g-190g, and the size of it is a perimeter 40cm, and there is a hole of 12 in it. It is much smaller than a handball, a little bigger than a softball.
  • Highlights of the Game

The player jumps as much as his height in the high state and a ball is struck by the spike like acrobatics and hatched. The speed is said as about 140km per hour, an air battle has soothing fully.

*To watch on the best killer in the history of sepak takraw, click on this link ---> The Best Killer in the World


Is a giant spinning top that weighs approximately 5kg or 10lbs and may be large as dinner plate. The game usually played traditionally before the rice harvest season. The player requires strengths, co-ordination and skill to play this game. The top is set spinning by unfolding rope that has been wound around it. Then, it is scooped off the ground, whilst still spinning, using bat with a centre slit and transferred onto a low post with a mental receptacle. If the expertly hurled, it can spin for up to 2 hours.
Gasing or top spinning is split into two (2) categories. One is for ornamental purposes and while the other is for playing.
  • Equipment Needed

The gasing or top usually made of wood or hard fruits. It comes together with string that was tightly wound round a nail at the base of the top. There are five different shapes of tops; 1)plate-shaped, 2)heart-shaped, 3) hat top, 4) egg-shaped and 4) berembang-shaped. Berembang is a fruit of a seaside tree.

  • Method of Playing Gasing

There is no fixed number of players and the game can be played either teams or individually. Firstly, a circle is drawn on the ground marking a circumstance within the top is to spin. Then, a player holds the top in his hand and grips the loose end of the string between the fingers and throws it in the circle while at the same time pulls the string backwards that sends the top into a spinning action.
  • Sparring Contest

A Gasing or top spinning contest basically a friendly games where normally it have two (2) kinds of matches.

The first is the "spinning contest" and the second one is called the "striking match". The "Spinning contest", is where someone that can spin his top for the longest time wins the match. Once the top has been launched, the top is carefully scooped off the ground using a thin wooden bat. Then, it will be transferred to a little wooden surface and left to spin for as long as possible. The trick here is to ensure that the top doesn't topple during the transit. Tough it may seem unbelievably so, the current record stands at two hours.

The "striking match" is far more exhilarating than the first. You won't need to stand there for hours watching a top spin and spin and spin. The "striking match" is as the name suggests. Each contestant must try to hit their opponent's tops so that the already spinning tops will topple and loses its balance and speed.

Video on how to play Gasing

Till then, bye... Thank you for reading this blog! (:


  1. Thank you very much. Good source of information, especially for international students taking Malaysian society and culture.

  2. Thanks, this is great!

  3. this information is useful - athirah 111a

  4. thanks for the info but please change your background its really hard to read .

  5. useful information for my assignment! thank you so much :)

  6. Thanks. This is a great info of traditional sports.

  7. the music is damn scary

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