When parents had limited financial means children had to find ways to entertain themselves in their play.
We used to fashion jianzi from feathers and a light cork...and twisted lots of rubber bands (lok tong tai - or jelutong bands) to form a very "kickable" base.
Watching a Beijing girl kicking her collection of jianzi brought me back to the years we spent looking at the boys playing with jianzi.
In those days boys played with marbles and anything "throwable"...and jianzi was one children's game strictly meant for boys....
How globablisation can upgrade the quality of jianzi and the styles in playing with such a simple yet intricate sport facility. And how far this Chinese Shuttlecock has gone....personally I miss watching small children enjoying themselves kicking jianzi expertly and counting up to 150 or even 200 without dropping it....
And some tom boys like me would beg..."let me try ..let me try..." and the boys would laugh..."This is not for girls...girls cannot kick..."
thinking about this I smile..I should have learned to kick well...and I really would like to go out and kick some butts these days.....
Jiànzi (毽子), ti jian zi (踢毽子), ti jian (踢毽) or jiànqiú (毽球) is a traditional Chinese game in which players aim to keep a heavily weighted shuttlecock in the air using their feet and other parts of the body (but not hands, unlike the similar games peteca and indiaca).
The game, which goes by many different names, may be rules-based on a court similar to badminton and Volleyball, or be played artistically, among a circle of players in a street or park, with the objective to keep the shuttle 'up' and show off skills. In Vietnam, it is known as da cau and is the national sport, played especially in Hanoi.
In recent years, the game has gained a formal following in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.
In English, both the sport and the object with which it is played are referred to as "shuttlecock" or "featherball". No racquets are used.
Also called a 'Chinese hacky sack' or 'kinja', jianzi typically has four feathers fixed into a rubber sole or plastic discs. Some handmade jianzis make use of a washer or a coin with a hole in the centre.
During play, various parts of the body, but not the hands, are used to keep the shuttlecock from touching the ground. It is primarily balanced and propelled upwards using parts of the leg, especially the feet. Skilled players may employ powerful and spectacular overhead kicks.
The first known version of jianzi was in the 5th century BC in China. The name ti jian zi, means simply 'kick shuttlecock' ('ti' = kick, 'jian zi' = little shuttlecock). The game is believed to have evolved from cuju, a game similar to football that was used as military training. Over the next 1000 years, this shuttlecock game spread throughout Asia, acquiring a variety names along the way.
Jianzi has been played since the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), and was popular during the Six Dynasties period and the Sui and Tang dynasties. Thus the game has a history of two thousand years.
I really think that this should be introduced to our children who would enjoy it tremedously in the beautiful parks we have.
Source : Wikipedia®
Photos : 3 by Sarawakiana in Brunei