By Lisa Ballou
Popular in the 20s, and then in the 50s and 60s, this Chinese parlor game has been making a comeback over the last several years. Modern day mahjongg is to some women what poker night is to men. It’s about gathering, gaming and having an outlet for fun.
“As a stay-at-home mom, I was looking for an outlet for fun. So last year my mom came to visit, she taught 12 of us girls how to play. After that, our weekly games began,” explained Chappaqua resident Lisa Shaiken.
“I feel that I’m continuing the tradition of the women in my family. We have plenty of food each week and there’s lots to chat about.”
Mahjongg is a game and a tradition that transcends time. Beyond the enjoyment of playing, mahjongg mavens believe it has a therapeutic effect. “The camaraderie is as important as the game, it’s a chance to catch up with friends, garner advice and take a break from the kids,” said Debbie Jacobs, another member of the mahjongg circle.
Another group of women have been playing Mahjongg in Chappaqua for more than 6 years. They play 2x a month and also rotate houses. These 7 women have been through a lot together from babies to Bar mitzvahs and high school graduations,
“It’s all about gathering, eating and sharing. We’ve been through a lot together–good times and bad,” said Susan Goodman. “It’s a different social outlet that is very supportive.”
Sandi Frank says
There are several women in the area looking for mah jongg games, either as a regular or as a substitute. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 13, 2011