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FLOTSAM: Chinlone

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349040.  Sat May 31, 2008 8:56 am Reply with quote

Question: Who are the world’s most skilful footballers?

Forfeit: Brazilians, Arsenal, the English

Answer: The Burmans

Supplimentary: Which country is the home of football

Forfeit: England

Answer: China

The national game of Myanmar is chinlone. This is a mixture between dance and football, where there is no opposing team, and the idea is for players to keep the ball in the air as skilfully and beautifully as possible.

Both men and women play chinlone, often on the same team, and games are often accompanied by an announcer calling out the names of the moves and entertaining the audience with clever wordplay.

Players need to reach a meditation-like state in order to play well. As Myanmar is a Buddhist country, the game and the religion are intertwined; huge Buddhist festivals in the country involve chinlone games.

Football originated in the far-east. After ball games began with the “more natural” throwing, it was not long before it was noticed that the art of controlling the ball with the feet was not easy and, as such, required no small measure of skill. The very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China.

The game was called “cuju” or “Tsu' Chu”, and consisted of kicking a leather ball filled with feathers and hair through an opening, measuring only 30-40cm in width, into a small net fixed onto long bamboo canes. He had to use his feet, chest, back and shoulders while trying to withstand the attacks of his opponents. Use of the hands was not permitted. Chinlone probably evolved from this form of the game.

It should be noted that the Greeks and Romans had similar ballgames, as did the Mayans, but these lacked the vital tenet of football; most of the play was not done with the feet but the hands. Football as we know it was codified in Eton as an attempt to instil "the virtues of hard-work, discipline and self-control". The working class took over the sport after being taught it by Mill-owners and clergymen attempting to inculcate the values into the workforce. Sheffield Football Club (the world’s oldest) was founded in 1857 by two Old Harrovians named Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest. Seeking a way of stopping the players from handling the ball, they gave each of them a florin to hold onto during the game.

Picture Ideas:
Video of chinlone players

Maybe we can get this pic, or something similar, for the beginning of the question:

Last edited by eggshaped on Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:03 am; edited 1 time in total

349080.  Sat May 31, 2008 10:45 am Reply with quote

Alan looks suitably meditative in that picture too.


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