Need to preserve traditional games

Five stones, a traditional game played in Singapore.

Traditional games carry values such as friendship, sportsmanship, social values and obedience, which should be protected and instilled in the future generations of ASEAN.

Endi Aras, a member of the Indonesian delegation currently in the country for the ASEAN Cultural Expressions Mini Festival, told The Brunei Times that it was vital for a country to preserve its traditional games.

The two-day festival provided a platform for ASEAN member countries to showcase their traditional games to each other and the public.

According to Endi, there are over 2,500 traditional games in Indonesia with most incorporating nature such as sticks and stones.

"Back then we would find objects that we can use to make into a game, nowadays youths just ask their parents to buy them video games or mobile phones," Endi said on the sidelines of the closing ceremony at Tarindak D'Seni, Jln Subok yesterday.

"This will cause youths to lack creativity and also become spoiled."

A participant from Cambodia, Yuk Sorphorn, noted that the festival gave insight into the similarities and differences between the culture and traditional games of ASEAN member countries.

She said she had thoroughly enjoyed her experience at the mini festival as she managed to learn more about the ASEAN cultures and widen her social connections.

"I wish we could demonstrate more games and have more days included in the festival - two days are not enough!"

Another participant, Pusit Rungkeaw from Thailand, also found the similarities of traditional games between the ASEAN countries.

Pusit pointed out that the game involving walking on coconut shells is practised in countries such as Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand.

He suggested that more cultural aspects be included into the programme such as adding a food festival to the traditional games, as this would attract more participation and also a larger crowd.

The guest of honour at the ceremony was Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports who presented certificates to participating ASEAN members.

An introduction to Brunei's traditional game Salok-Salokan was also held where the participants attempted to solve a puzzle game made out of rattan.

The mini festival is part of the Festival of the ASEAN Cultural Expressions 2013-2015 under the Bali Declaration on 'ASEAN Unity in Culture Diver sity: Towards Strengthening ASEAN Community' signed in 2011.

Under the recently concluded festival, a workshop and country's paper presentation on the ASEAN traditional games has been conducted and the outcome will be used as a resource for another project - "Animation of ASEAN Traditional Games" proposed by Brunei Darussalam and endorsed during the 14th ASEAN Socio-cultural Community Council (SCC) meeting in Myanmar.

According to a member of the National Committee ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI) Brunei Darussalam, the next event mini festival will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next year.