55 Mahjong in Guangzhou


Old People in Mao Suits Playing Mahjong in Guangzhou, China.

Commonly played by four players, Mahjong originated in China during the Qing dynasty.

The game is played with a set of 144 tiles, based on Chinese characters and symbols.

Each player is given 13 tiles at the start, taking it in turns to draw and discard a fourteenth tile to try and make a winning hand of four melds (three identical tiles) and an eye (a pair of identical tiles).

Of course, Mahjong is a little more complicated than that, but it was interesting to watch these Chinese players continue an age-old tradition; when on a photo walkabout in Guangzhou, China.

Open-air games often attract a little crowd of onlookers, and the occasional foreign tourist posing as a travel photographer.

What made this picture special for me was the captivating look on these old Chinese faces; and their clothing.

These dark blue tunics were originally known as the Zhongshan suit, after Sun Yat-sen (also called Sun Zhongshan) helped revolutionise China and overthrow the the Qing (or Manchu) dynasty in the early 20th century.

Sometimes called the 'father of modern China', Zhongshan is credited with giving the suit its symbolisms.

The four pockets on the front represent the Four Virtues: politeness, justice, honesty, and a sense of shame.

The five buttons on the front then represent the five branches of government in the constitution of the Republic of China.

The three buttons on the cuff represent Sun's Three Principles of the People: nationalism, democracy, and people's livelihood.

The 'blue look' was later made famous by Mao Zedong and the tunic subsequently became known as a 'Mao suit'.

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Great capture. Its interesting to see the old men still in their dark blue Jackets, thought they went out years ago
posted November 26th, 2017  
I never knew that the pockets & buttons had meanings Thanks for sharing We lived in HK for 20 years!
posted November 26th, 2017  
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