On a Sunday morning, people from around the world got around two tables in a hutong of Beijing. They were playing a special Chinese game, mahjong. Now many foreign travelers have an interest in the game. They say it's quite easy to learn to play mahjong.
“Mahjong is a good way to experience Chinese culture”, says Cheremnikh. “When you walk down a street in China, no matter what city you’re in, you can always find people playing it. It’s a part of the culture,” says the 32-year-old Israeli.
Jelle Alsemgeest from the Netherlands also likes playing this game. He has lived in China for more than three years. He first played mahjong last summer, when he was on a business trip in Gansu province. A group of Chinese friends invited him to play. He thought the game was quite difficult and would take him weeks to learn. He was very surprised that it only took him one evening to learn the basic rules and know how to play it.
Alsemgeest brought along his parents to China, so they could experience this part of Chinese culture. His parents, both older than 60, were able to learn the game quickly and even won a round. His mother enjoyed the game so much that she was thinking about joining a mahjong club in her hometown of IJsselstein. “Maybe I will play it many times in the future. It's a good way to learn and think. Good for my brain,” jokes Alsemgeest's mother.