TODAY -

Indigenous Games between Cambodia and Manipur
- A Borderless Connectivity -

Atom Sunil Singh *

The world is under the bond of artificial or political boundary. Similar face look between Cambodia and Manipur is something big question hidden behind the tight relations between them.

Political boundary makes the regions very far away, however, geographically, culturally, racially, traditionally and historically proximity between the two regions cannot be left behind.

For instance, "khudei" a sarong like attire worn by Meitei men is popularly worn by Khmer men too. Women wear "Phanek" in Manipur or a special kind of Sarong or "Sampot" in Cambodia and "haophi" or shawl is worn by Khmer and Manipuri.

Loktak Lake is known for the only floating lake in the world. In the same way, Tonle Sap Lake is famous for the only floating village where all the basic needs of a village available there ranging from fishes, foods etc to schools, library etc.

Looking on the diet, both people have "utongchak", rice cooked inside the hollow piece or stem of bamboo, fermented fishes etc.

In Cambodia bamboo is very popular for the any sort of construction as it is in Manipur. It is very interesting to know the bamboo train is one the most tourist attractions in Cambodia.

Bamboo train by name itself shows it is made by the bamboo, has a train service between Battambang and Phnom Penh. The Central Market of Phnom Penh is just like as the Kwairamband Bazar of Manipur where women sell eatable things, clothes etc.

It would be very interesting to know if rare and threatened to extinct the Meitei indigenous games like "mukna", "phibul thambi", "phibul thombi", "chaphu thugaibi", "marum konbi" are also played in the forgotten parental worlds.

A Mukna played as part of Mera Houchongba on Oct 26, 2007 at Kangla.


The study seeks to find out how it is closely related between the regions during the ancient time by analysing the indigenous games of the regions. Indigenous games of Cambodia can be easily seen during the Cambodian New Year Sport Festival as Manipuri plays games during Yaoshang Sport Festival.

"Leak Kanseng" (Scarf Hiding): This game is played by a group of children sitting in circle. Those who are sitting are not allowed to turn around or look behind them.

One who is holding a "kanseng" or "Karma" (Cambodian towel) or a kerchief/scarf twisted into a round shape runs around the circle while singing a song. The runner secretly tries to drop the "kanseng" behind one of the players.

If that chosen player realizes what is happening, he or she must pick up the "kanseng" and beat the person sitting next to him or her. If that player close not hit the player next to them in the direction the runner is going in, or the person who should have been hit will pick up the "kanseng" and hit the unfortunate person whom it was dropped behind with it instead.

Then, they come the runner until they can trick someone else. This sort of game is played as an indigenous game of Meitei children, which is known as "phibul thombi" or "phibul habi".

"Bay Khom": This game is played by two children in rural or urban areas during their free time in Cambodia.

Ten holes are dug in the shape of an oval board in the ground. Forty-two small stones are required to start the game. Five stones are put into each of the two holes located at the tip of the oval board.

In each of the remaining eight holes, four stones are placed. The first player selects one of the holes and takes all the stones from the hole and drops them one by one in the other holes.

It must be repeated this process until the last stone is dropped into the hole lying besides an empty one. Then he or she must take all the stones in the hole next to the empty one. Similarly, the second player begins to play.

The game finishes when all the holes are empty. The player with the highest number of stones wins the game. Such kind of game is popularly known as "marum konbi" in Manipur.

"Vay Kaorm": In this game, the player will be blindfold with a scarf. Holding a stick, she or he will hit the clay pot until it breaks. It is a kind of game, which is played in Manipur known as "chaphu thugaibi".

Chaphu Thugaibee in progess as part of Yaoshang Sports


However, the different between them is that in "chaphu thugaibi", only one clay pot is kept however, in "vay kaorm", more than one clay pot is placed. If the player can able to hit all the clay pot she or he will win the game and others have to dance in front of the winner.

"Teanh Preatt": This game is much same as tug of war known as "thouri chingba" in Manipuri. Girls and boys form two teams. A boy and a girl are chosen to stand at each end of the rope.

When the referee shouts "yak-or" and both teams reply "hover" thrice to ensure everyone is already, then the referee rings a bell as which one has been pulled over the line drawn in the ground by the opponent that player is the loser.

"Chol Chhung": A "karma" (scarf) is necessary for this game. Knotting the karma as a large ball known as "chhung" with loose edges to grip and throw it.

The game is somehow similar with "phibul thomba" in Manipuri. Two teams are needed for the game one time for boys and another teams for the girls. There are two distinctive types of this game.

The first type is known as "chhung Rorm chreang" (singing and dancing "chhung") when the boyís team throws the "chhung" in order to hit any one from the girlís team.

If they cannot able to hit it, they must pick again it up off the ground and throw it. If he is able to hit a girl, She must sing and dance for him. If not, it is the girl teamís turn to hit the boys.

If she can hit a boy, he must sing and dance for her. Another type of this game is known as "chhung loh kangom", the rules are the same, instead of sing and dance, if a boy is hit, he must go to he girlís side and vice versa.

Khmer Wrestling: Indigenous game of Khmer wrestling consists of three rounds. Khmer Wrestling is a unique form of the sport as Manipurís "mukna".

Before the match, a ritual dance is participated. The match is accompanied by two drums called "Skor Ngey", which means female drum and "Chhmol"- male drum. The wrestlers always react to the beats of the drums by dancing.

To become the winner, the wrestler is dependent on his ability to throw the competitor down and to make sure the competitorís back lies against the ground. The aim of the game is to force the opponentís back to touch on the ground.

Otherwise, the wrestler wins the match by winning two of the three rounds. After the first round, the spectators will ask the loser, "Horb" (meaning - continue) or "Ngorm" (meaning - stop and accept defeat).

Thus, each round the loser is asked if he wishes to continue with the match. "lou" which is used while playing "mukna" is very similar with Khmer wrestling techniques.

Apart from these games, there are many similar games like "thuk lokpi", "lik kon sanaba", "cheitek kotpi" played in Cambodia.

The relations between regions are, in terms of their indigenous games and sports, very close. Nevertheless, such kind of games and sports in Manipur are threatening to be extinct.

Everybody seems to forget to preserve this valuable and close culturally link between the two regions. In genocide torn country, which totally destroyed by the Khmer Rouge, such types of indigenous games are very popular till now with many spectators.

These games are promoted specially during New Year Sports Festivals of Cambodia, which similarly falls on the "meitei chahi houba" in Manipur.

* This article was published at The Sangai Express on 4th June, 2008




* Atom Sunil Singh contributes for the first time to e-pao.net. The writer is a Research Scholar of School of International Studies (SIS) at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. You can contact him at atomsunil(at)rediffmail(dot)com . This article was webcasted on June 11, 2008.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • I Rise :: Film Synopsis & Biography
  • Covid-19 Status 26 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Legal framework behind Lockdown, Curfew
  • A novitiating criminal lawyer's reflections
  • Furnishing of Fees Info from Private School
  • Curfew Violators - 26 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Continuing woes of people in Manipur
  • Increasing positive cases of COVID-19
  • Measures @ Imphal Airport - 25 May : Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 25 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Modified SOP for Air Traveller- 25 May : GOM
  • Haoginlun, Chingdakoiba: eMing
  • Covid-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Manipur
  • COVID-19 & ecology, environment in Manipur
  • Vegetable flood at Wabagai during lock down
  • Technology to the rescue
  • M.K Binodini Devi's Sense of Beauty
  • Covid-19 Status 24 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Monkeys seen on the streets of Imphal
  • Id-Ul-Fitr :: Book
  • Make in Manipur, try Yu
  • SOP for Air Traveller- 24 May : Manipur Govt
  • Economic Relief package for small business
  • Manipur Muslims stranded in Gujarat
  • Bracing up for arrival by air
  • Motsillaba Mingsel : Film Synopsis
  • Covid-19 Status 23 May : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 emergency response- observation
  • Ugly side of lockdown during COVID-19
  • International Day of Biodiversity 2020
  • Requests for Orders on 7th UGC Pay
  • Mother - A Deity :: Poem
  • Preparing for the inevitable change
  • Phisakol #3 :: eRang
  • Covid-19 Status 22 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Two students at 'Model Conference of Parties'
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • It's a cup of my Tea - International Tea Day
  • Govts' accountability in response to COVID-19
  • Online Faculty Development Program at RGU
  • Verse for Schoolchildren :: Poem
  • Growing number of positive cases
  • Tending to the trivialities in time
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Covid-19 Status 21 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Issues of Manipuri nurses in Kolkata
  • Item Distribution to Quarantine centres
  • Orders/Memo - 21 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Workshop On Writing Research Paper
  • Appeal to all the Stranded Denizens
  • 'Reverify the lists of evacuees'
  • Helpline for Women Entrepreneurs of NE
  • Focus on quarantine centres
  • Counting on our collective responsibilities
  • Art has no gender & neither do Artists
  • Covid-19 Status 20 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Medical assistance to journalist awarded
  • 13th Manipur State Film Awards, 2020
  • Power loom weave intricately designed cloth
  • Dilemma after High School
  • Quarantine Centre- Negligence at Saitu, Kpi
  • 'This is no time to politicize the pandemic'
  • Highest spike on single day with 16
  • Foresight & vision - need of the hour
  • Distribution for Manipuri @ Blore: Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 19 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Hand sanitizer to Journalists : Gallery
  • Manipur Migrants in Bengaluru's Safety Net
  • Orders/Memo [19 May] : Govt of Manipur
  • A Forbidden Love : Poem
  • Social advocacy as career choice
  • Total curfew : Confusing the people
  • Preparing for the long haul
  • Tungjoi Glory Day #2 : Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 18 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Gandhi's talisman.. to reform public health
  • A view of the Thames
  • COVID-19 knocks our education system
  • Clarification from Mumbai Returnee [May 18]
  • Nagaland : Demand for Special Trains
  • Beating China on the tally
  • Turning threat into opportunity
  • How Lockdown impact Textile Industry
  • Covid-19 Status 17 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Fight COVID-19 !! :: Poem
  • Thoughts random: In times of coronavirus- IV
  • Webinar series with a focus on COVID-19
  • COVID-19 gi matangda suggestion khara
  • Urges to impose curfew on Eid-ul-Fitr
  • Hundreds and hundreds returning
  • Emotional reverberations during COVID-19
  • Covid-19 Status 16 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Ningombam Sunibala : NE Success Stories
  • Home Sweet Home vis-a-vis Lockdown Exodus
  • Issue of Curfew Pass [May 16]
  • e-Videos Learning should be made in English
  • The Old Man in the Evening :: Poem
  • The silver lining
  • Kabui Lai of Kakching
  • Covid-19 Status 15 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Have you ever sanitize your mind ?
  • Challenges in the new normal
  • We Real Brave :: Poem
  • Know our health care system
  • How about the 14 days quarantine ?
  • Psychological side of COVID-19 epidemic
  • Associates & Junior Associates at MaolKeki
  • Know our health care system & shortcomings
  • Quarantine Centre @Thangmeiband: Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 14 May : Govt of Manipur
  • The Princess & The Political Agent : Preview
  • Self-Sufficiency: A Shibboleth ?
  • Running business not just to survive lockdown
  • A Symphony on Spring :: Poem
  • 'No concrete roadmap by Nagaland govt'
  • Coronavirus, lockdown, stranded people
  • Unattended struggle of Phige Weavers
  • Covid-19 Status 13 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #2: Gallery
  • Relief exchange- Moidangpok & Keikao, Tml
  • Unheeded Balance :: Poem
  • Arsenal's new home
  • Getting ready for lockdown 4.0
  • Preparing for the shifting battle line
  • Barak River, Tamenglong #1 :: Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 12 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Bishnupur Dist. Orders / Memo [May 12]
  • Vaccination of cattle at Khumbong
  • Bus for Stranded Manipuris in Guwahati
  • Startups in the time of corona crisis
  • Naming children after pandemic
  • Growing number of infected
  • Adversity to opportunity
  • The Princess & the Political Agent : eBook
  • Covid-19 Status 11 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Huishu village, Chingai, Ukhrul Dist. : Gallery
  • Nurse unite to demand universal public health
  • Transport of stranded students from Shillong
  • Of kombirei and daffodil
  • Impact of lockdown on economy of Manipur
  • Opening the doors amid the lockdown
  • Preparing for the inevitable future
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Quarantine Centre @Kwakeithel : Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 10 May : Govt of Manipur
  • SOP : Returning by Train to Manipur
  • Foreign Nationals stranded in Northeast
  • The International Mother's Day 2020
  • Lonely Days at Home :: Poem
  • Keep helping the poor amid COVID-19
  • From chinky to coronavirus
  • Rajkumari Muktasana : Dance Artiste
  • Covid-19 Status 09 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Impact on children during lockdown
  • Movement Pass Register - Resident Govt
  • Mother, The Giver ! :: Poem
  • Improving English during lockdown
  • Nagaland Govt to bring back stranded citizen
  • Road to unity
  • Paoki Fest @ Purul, Senapati: Gallery
  • Taja mgidi ya_Aodbr :: Seireng
  • A view on soccer training
  • Covid-19 Status 08 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Wetlands of Manipur : Documentary Film
  • Contribution of AR in Empowerment of women
  • Understanding stranded persons
  • nuHsi K_waHceY :: Seireng
  • Covid-19 Status 07 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Vagabond :: Poem
  • Best materials for homemade mask
  • E-Learning during COVID-19 Lockdown
  • Our careers and COVID-19
  • Need to expand commercial centres
  • Normalizing the act of humanism
  • Landscape to Dzukou Valley #4 : Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 06 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Our part in the coronavirus lockdown
  • Quick nutrition garden during COVID-19
  • Lockdown Order from 6 May: Manipur Govt
  • Relief material to families at Keibul Lamjao
  • What to foresee from a Free Haircut ?
  • May 6, 2020 : Yet another day of drama
  • For Manipur, it is not COVID-19 alone
  • Luira Phanit @Kamjong #2 : Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 05 May : Govt of Manipur
  • San Marino is now World's Highest Infection
  • Women bear brunt of humanitarian disasters
  • Covid-19 Lockdown Violators - 05 May
  • Lockdown and livelihood
  • Singlup's response to COVID-19 relief
  • No lessons learnt from lockdown ?
  • Embracing the new Normal
  • Distribution @Benguluru -2 May : Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 04 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur Looks Flat - Hingminnasi Eikhoi
  • Conflicts between Individualism & Collectivism
  • Thoughts random: In times of coronavirus - III
  • Taking care of your hands during lockdown
  • SOP for Stranded Manipuri
  • Categorise the stranded folks
  • Helping a lame dog over a stile
  • MK Binodini Book Reading : Gallery
  • Europe zooms MK Binodini Devi's Literature
  • COVID-19 outbreak: Safety at work is must
  • The Finest Hour :: Poem
  • 27th Anniv of Pangal's Black Day
  • Tribal way of fortification against Covid-19
  • Manipur officially in Green Zone
  • Why not carve out a future in Chakhao #2
  • Covid-19 Status 02 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Advisory for Farmers during Lockdown period
  • Apply for Medical Financial Assistance
  • Drug users community response in COVID-19
  • L Shamungou : Listed in 25 best photos
  • A way to make Manipur the best
  • Bangladeshki Sana Tampha #2 :: eRang
  • Covid-19 Status 01 May : Govt of Manipur
  • Thang Ta - Sangai Fest 2018 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19: A great threat to human health
  • Virtual Tourism : a step forward
  • Testing equipment for COVID-19 to RIMS
  • COVID-19: Conversation with Prof Rajendra
  • On The Banks of The Seine :: Poem
  • Curfew violators [Apr 29] : Gallery
  • Covid-19 Status 30 Apr : Govt of Manipur
  • Falling in love with Ukhrul's folks
  • Relief materials by Moidangpok to Nungtek
  • Coronavirus-I :: Poem
  • Helping people from Northeast in Bengaluru
  • Study material updated at Website
  • Violation of Wildlife Act
  • 'PDA Govt adding burden to public'
  • Where to ease and where to continue
  • Lifting goods to the loaded truck
  • Developments at Langthabal Palace
  • May Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Face mask to Hawkers & IMC workers
  • Learning during lockdown & post lockdown
  • Turn it off and see what happens
  • COVID-19 positive/suspected pregnancies
  • Back to the Nature :: Poem
  • Condemn physical assault of CAF&PD official
  • Post COVID-19 : Bleak days ahead
  • Bracing for the real test
  • Pallel & Kakching Keithel : Gallery
  • Tangkhul Forum vegetable for valley: Gallery
  • Relief works to 4 districts : Gallery
  • Items distributed to Tarao -Apr 23 #2: Gallery
  • Khongu Basi - Shumang Leela #2: Gallery
  • Covid-19: Impact in Manipur :: Photos/News..
  • Language affinity betn Meiteis & Tangkhuls
  • Saroi Khangba #2 : Gallery
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [Apr 13] : Gallery
  • Relief Camp @Chassad - Mar 17 : Gallery
  • Helpline Number for Students/ people from NE
  • Chassad village Arson- Mar 17 : Gallery
  • Wars, Devastation & events in Kakching #2
  • SPONSORED ADS