Friday, August 5, 2011


Tug-of-war (Teanh Prot) is a recreational game played by Khmer youth, both males and females. This game is played by using the physical energy as a basis, and it is played only during the Khmer New Year’s days approximately within the months of Cetra and Visākha (April and May). This game is popularly played at the monasteries during the Khmer New Year’s days because they have spacious grounds favorable for the games. However, it also can be played at the villages where more people are gathering and sufficiently spacious grounds are available. This game is commonly played during the day time, but if the bright lamp or brightly shining moon is available, it also can be played during the night time. The players in this game are divided into two groups of at least from 5 to 10 members per group according to the availability of the players. Traditionally, if there are female players joining the game, the females are formed as one group and another group consists of males only. According to the concept that females are weaker than males, the group of females always consists of at lest 2 members more than the group of males, i.e. one group consists of 8 males and another group consists of 10 females. The materials using in this game are the ropes made from raw skin of water buffalo or cow/ox or made from fibers of coconut tree with the length of at least 20 cubits and the size as big as the child’s wrist. While pulling this rope at the beginning of the completion, Samphor (Khmer traditional drum) or Kong Mong (Khmer traditional musical instrument) or Rokaing (Khmer traditional musical instrument) is beaten to make music.
How to play: First of all, one strong and stocky build male and one strong and stocky build female are selected to stand and hold each end of the rope and choose another one strong and stocky build male and one strong and stocky build female to stand face to face at the middle of the rope to urge their members to pull the rope whereas those who are small, thin and weak are placed at the middle of each group. After arranging the players in the right position, one man is chosen to carry Samphor or Kong Mong or Rokaing and stand at the middle of the rope nearby the players who are standing face to face and start shouting loudly “Yeak Oh (1)!!!” with long and intonated voice. At the same time, all pullers who are ready for the completion start shouting all together “Ho Voeuy!!!” for three times and then they start pulling the rope to win another group in the competition. While the pullers are trying their best to pull the rope, the man who is carrying Samphor or Kong Mong or Rokaing keeps beating Samphor or Kong Mong or Rokaing constantly making a sound “Tak Ting…or Maung…, Meung… ” until any group wins or loses the competition.
Each competition takes from 5 to 6 minutes and up to 10 minutes until the winners and the losers are found. After seeing the winners and the losers, they start to play in the second time and then in the third time until they all become exhausted. This game is regarded as an exercise that makes us healthy. Source: