Up to Half a Million Middle-Aged White ‘Aunties’ are Playing Mahjong in the U.S.
By Bryan Ke
March 19, 2018
Mahjong, a popular game in China that requires skill, strategy with a dash of gambling on the side, is reportedly popular in the United States, according to the video report posted by KNOE 8 News in February.
The report claimed that at least half a million of people are playing mahjong in the U.S. and based on the video, it seems like the game is fairly popular among the female demographic.
“It’s like no other game. And it’s got such history, such beautiful tradition, that if your grandmother played it and then your mother played it, it’s almost impossible not to want to pick up the tiles and start to play,” one of the women interviewed during the report said, “the sound of them, the feel of them.”
“They chat, they bring a bottle of wine, they, you know, they’re just having a really, really good time. It’s the camaraderie. It’s changed people’s lives,” another player said.
Weirdly enough, there’s not a single person of color shown in the clip; most are middle-aged to elderly white women, as reported by Shanghaiist.
Mahjong, a tile-based game that was developed during the Qing dynasty in China, is commonly played by four players. However, the game has developed further since the 20th Century, and one of the variations of the game allows three people to play, which is typically found in South Korea, Japan and Southeast Asian countries.
There are at least 500,000 players in the country, as the report claims. However, Shanghaiist believes that the number may have come from the National Mah Jongg League.
Facebook users in the comment section shared their experience with the game, explaining how the game became a foundation for family bonding as well as to keep the mind active especially for the elderly.
Not all players are women, though, as some men also learned to play Mahjong since they were young.
However, not everyone totally agrees with how they play the game in the U.S.
Images screenshot via Facebook / KNOE 8 News
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