Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The shuttlecock

Every evening in the parks, the spaces in front of shops and houses and on Riverside, where these pics were taken, Cambodians come out to exercise and socialise. One of the more spectacular games they play is Sey- Sey dock, Sey tot, Sey paen and Sey mey loang depending on the variation of the shuttle-a simplier variation of the 'Shuttlecock sport' which is an official sport played at the South East Asian Games. In it's official form the Shuttlecock sport, a kind of amalgamation of volleyball, badminton and soccer/football, is popular all over Asia and in parts of Europe.

It's an athletic sport where the players try to keep a kind of weighted shuttlecock in the air without using their hands. The result looks a bit like capoeira with more elaborate kicks and leaps scoring more points although most of the games we see are not so much point scoring as a social event- can you spot the player on the phone?  The really good players can do aerial bicycle kicks and flips.

The game is ancient. Archeologists have found evidence, in China, of the existence of a shuttlecock game dating back to 5 BCE when it was used as training for battle.

Sometimes you see them playing with a woven rattan ball called Mey loang.

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