More Than Mah Jongg Revisited

In our August Newsletter we featured some stories about Mah Jongg and cultivating friendships. We continued to receive stories after our September/October newsletter was completed. So here are some others we’d like to share. We would also love to share your story! Write us!

I grew up watching my Mom and Grandma play MJ – if I was a good girl I was allowed to sit with a small plate of fruit and pretzels and maybe even mush the tiles (wearing my Holly Hobbie nightgown). 2 years ago I moved to a new town, Oceanside NY. I decided to put it out there that I wanted to learn the game after all these years. Took minutes before someone set up the time and place and lined up women willing to teach us! A few lessons later and suddenly a new generation of MJ players were born! I love playing with my friends, and yes, my Mom! My Grandma would be very happy!- Shari W., NY

I was exposed to Mah Jongg later in life- in my 50s. My mother didn’t play, I knew only a few people who did, and I never learned to play. I decided several years ago that I needed a new hobby. A friend had recently started playing, and she directed me to a Mah Jongg group that was offering free lessons. I was “hooked” from the first day. I have made many friends while playing Mah Jongg. Some of these friends I see only during games, but some friendships have thrived and branched out into sharing meals, Hadassah membership, and even a business venture. I was playing Mah Jongg when my daughter-in-law went into labor with our first grandchild. 4 women playing mahjonggThe other players were so excited for me; they didn’t even mind when I left the game early.

During our regular game the following week, everyone crowded around to look at pictures of my new grandson. Mah Jongg has become a big part of my life. I can’t believe I waited so long to learn to play!- Arlene, PA

The Circle of Mah Jongg

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and all our December holidays are times to connect, and reconnect, with friends and family. They are the times to reminisce and catch up on the events in our respective lives, enjoy celebrations, and celebrate each others’ accomplishments that have occurred throughout the year. Sometimes we haven’t kept in touch the way we should have, or could have and we’re able to make up for it during this time. Most times our holiday tables consist of family, and perhaps close friends who we know fairly well. But sometimes new people appear in our lives and are included in new traditions we create at this time of the year. They might be friends, family members, or significant others of other attendees, or from new walks of life that we have become a part of. Conversations start, and often we find we share common occupations, talents, or interests.

Picture of Turkey with Mahjong tiles

How often does the conversation involve Mah Jongg? In some of our homes, it probably comes up often, due to our love of the game and our desire to share that passion with others. I’m sure there is not only talk of Mah Jongg, but in some homes, a Mah Jongg game is brought out after dinner, or even before, and soon there are three or four (or more) players around a table, building the walls. How wonderful to have several generations all together, playing the game. Some who have heard about the game, but have never played, may even watch the game and learn the basics. Their curiosity is piqued, and now they want to learn more. These women and men who are bitten by the “Mah Jongg bug” now explore lessons and games in their communities. They meet other Mah Jongg enthusiasts, love the game, and try to gather others to learn to play. It’s spread by word of mouth in generations passed, but now with the internet it even goes viral. The love of Mah Jongg gets passed on to other family and friends and from generation to generation. Bonds are strengthened by common interests, and when our grandmother, or even great grandmother, isn’t as mobile for other things, Mah Jongg can still be played. So this holiday season, after the turkey leftovers are all put away, pull out the tiles and enjoy!

Raise your glass in a festive mood, and give Thanks for all our many blessings. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year and all the other festivities you celebrate this holiday season.

Thanks for your patronage of our website. We hope that our love of the game has helped you enjoy your game more!

May the Tiles be with you!
Arlene, Leah and Sue
Your MahJonggMentors

Happy Holidays Christmas Kwanzza & Hanukkah