How to Gamble in Chinese Culture?

There are not a few topics of Chinese customs that can be discussed, with fun but are healthy and functioning and not debating the coachman if you wish.

For example, I once asked, why after the Chiang Kai-shek era, there were almost no Chinese people with mustaches !? This is a question of a serious aspect of habit, but no one has an interest in discussing it except responding with jokes perhaps because they don’t know the answer. Probably because it had never been aware of the existence of such a phenomenon of Chinese habits, namely that contemporary Chinese are arguably the only ethnic group in the world that has a practice of not caring for mustaches! Okay, if the mustache problem is difficult to answer, my next question is how is the position of gambling in Chinese habits? Hopefully, this is easier to answer.

Is gambling something forbidden or unclean in Chinese customs? Or something mediocre, forbidden or not, or not recommended? Or maybe it’s something of a tradition of amusement activity in respectable and recommended Chinese customs?

In an Islamic lecture that I attended about five years ago, the ustadz who acted as a speaker expressed the importance of inter-religious tolerance. Don’t attack other religions, by looking for errors in the ritual practices of other religions when compared to your religious rituals, and he said because Islamic principles are my religion, your religion.

So similar cases that are often discussed in this forum about trying Christian Chinese do not have to criticize Confucian Chinese as worship, because the value system is different. The idols for Christians and Islam, are not necessarily idols for Confucians or Hindus, for example.

Returning to the Islamic lecture that I attended, unique, to strengthen the substance of his speech on the need for you to glorify each other’s ritual practices of other religions, the ustadz took, for example, the habit of gambling among Chinese people.

The Ustadz criticized the behavior while Islamic activists who like over-acting raided gambling places, with arguments in defense of Islam. Said the cleric, those who gambled in these places were not necessarily Muslims, where it was uncertain the religion of the gambling people prohibited gambling like Islam forbid gambling.

For example, the cleric said further, that Chinese people do not forbid gambling, even gambling is a habit of respectable Chinese. If there are deaths among Chinese, for example, it is most common for sad people (taqziah) then open a gambling table. So honored was gambling in Chinese customs, to the point, repeated the ustadz, the Chinese had the god of gambling, namely sianjin or toapekong who ‘nurtured’ gambling work! Unique than unique, happens to be the cleric I am talking about, a Chinese ethnic !!

There are some different places outside Indonesia where gambling is not prohibited. At least according to information from the law. In Australia, for example, casinos are located in each city, and I often visit them. Not to gamble, watch it, because if you bet, this is not uncommon to lose. Let alone bet with people many gambling tables. The three jumps or even the two of them alone, I often lose! Besides, casinos in Australia generally, in Melbourne for example, are the most comfortable luxury places to visit, though not for gambling.

Well, visiting casinos in Australia, what impressed me most was that some of the visitors were Chinese! Far more than the number of visitors to ethnic Latin, Anglo Saxon or other Europe. So it may be true that gambling is a respectable Chinese ethnic, cultural activity because in all corners of the world Chinese people are most intensively gambling.

But, not necessarily gambling is a respectable phenomenon of Chinese customs?

I once read a story that was initially a relay story (feuilleton) in the Sin Po newspaper in 1936, titled “Liong Boen Ho Kiat.” The story was held in the era of Emperor Beng Sin Cong (Ming Shenzong Wanli 明 神宗 萬曆), the emperor ruled for a long time (1572-1620) in the Beng dynasty (Ming), but even the emperor greatly caused the decadence of his dynasty. In the story translated by the OKT in Chinese-Malay language, it is reflected in how evil the effects of gambling, which in Malay in the 1930s, are referred to as “main top,” and their prisoners are called “pentosans.”

Gambling is indeed reflected as an activity that is not forbidden:

“… In the daily newspaper, people who are co-opted are going to relocate, and the free time is expressed by every way he is a person, among others is by cooperating with the djoedi, main dadoe or maen kartoe …”

But at the same time gambling is also reflected as a detrimental activity, primarily because of the nature of its addictive and criminal tendency:

“… Yoe Tjin Lok was so busy playing the top. It was the day he spent his day at his tee-hong village or the head of the Kampoeng who had the name Tjo Tjeng. What was the tjilaka for him, he had the bad luck losing his neck, until he became the most annoyed, as long as he keeps on going and wants to be able to play so that he can pull ahead of his defeat and win? Satoe holds the mainland easily or eyes dark said Yoe Tjin Lok, who didn’t want to be loud. , I want to go to the saroepa ceremony, the co-op item, which is the Koei jade, the koemala who is still charming and charming. He brought this to Tjo Tjeng. The bounce was done. “

So … please take a look at the one who mastered the aspects of Chinese customs on this mailing list, to state how the symptoms of ‘top play’ really are or gamble from being Chinese.

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The Rise of Boardgame in Chinese Culture & History

Responding to the problem “How to gamble in Chinese culture?” For example, it is unique to understand whether in the excerpts of the Kongcu doctrine for his students, how is Kongcu’s theory of gambling? Also in Tao Te Ching, is there a particular doctrine of Laocu regarding gambling.

In Daodejing there are no gambling problems. In Rujia, as far as I know, there is no gambling problem. Although there are legends that write Majiang / Mahjong made by Kongzi himself. Based on the information from me, it’s just a legend because the Majesty is a change from Ma Diao Pai which was popular in the Ming era.

Gambling is classified into 5 “negative” habits, namely: chi (lit: eat, cont: spree), he (lit: drink, cont: drunk), piao (prostitute), du (gambling) and yan (smoking and opium). The so-called five negative habits are in any culture. It’s just that there are those who do not permit religious rules and there are those who forbid it by state rules.
Now China is unique, where other nations carry the name of religion to not allow five poisons in China to use state rules. Those who study Ru and Dao should know that the five poisons are inhibiting the use of Xian and junzi. So the five toxins are excesses of habit, not their own culture.

Throughout Chinese history, the kingdom has often sought to establish anti-gambling regulations. Of course with results that could be said to be nonexistent. Because self-government officials usually gamble (there are Han records that pronounce officials convicted of gambling).

Gambling is even the most popular among the poor. The majority of Chinese people throughout history are poor people who must work hard to live. Gambling is a very available escape because other entertainment drains money without the opportunity that money can return or generate money again.

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Commercialization of gambling itself opened in the Tang era while the various forms of the game began to be developed during the Song and reached its peak in the Ming period.

The rich people in Jiangnan (Kanglam) do not invest a little in the form of gambling houses. In Qing, Guangdong, and Fujian, two provinces were very prominent in gambling. And from there also some large Chinese Indonesians came from.

Regarding gambling at the castle wedding party, David Kwa once wrote that the purpose of gambling was to help the party holding the party. So the results of the betting are donated to family parties. If it is now another aim, it seems that it is cultural degradation.

People who hold weddings and mourning again often have activities that can be laden for a day or even two days and after that mourning can take more than two days? Now what people who want to look after are searching for. What entertainment is most suitable? Are they playing marbles? Well playing gamble, of course. In the past, when mourning was not placed in the house of mourning, but at home alone and even marriage was held at home. So it must dig volunteers into wanting to take part in escorting the house.

That’s the reason !! Not for collecting pots. Many are rich families if they hold a wedding or mourn there is a judicial program. Chinese-style gambling is unique, not a few who have to muster minds like mahjong who think more. The Hokie element certainly exists but not primarily. The most important thing is how to build the card that you get.

In the game “capsa” which can be said to be a big evolution of poker games. The game of thick poker is part of the gambling while in the “capsa” game all players must assume that they compose a card and listen to the opponent’s cards. Poker can play bluffing while capsa how to bully? Also pay attention to the dominoes originating from China, where cards that are thrown must still be counted. The derivative of this game called the cue or ceme is gambling.

In mainland China itself after the republic period, the gambling center shifted to Shanghai. After gongchandang came to power, large-scale gambling was repressed. But in the present time, listen, because there are already a few who have money to Macao or abroad to gamble. Also not a few are chasing gambling in other formats: stock exchanges and lotteries.

Know The History, Meanings, and Traditions of Cap Go Meh

Chinese New Year doesn’t seem lively enough if there is no Cap Go Meh.

Most people only know Cap Go Meh is a celebration held by Chinese people two weeks after Chinese New Year. Cap Go Meh is not just that, because Cap Go Meh also has meaning. If you want to know the history and meaning of Cap Go Meh, see continue with Pegipegi, let’s go!


Chinese New Year is often celebrated by praying to temples to offer prayers of salvation and blessing in the new year. After that, I just got together and ate with my family. Whereas, when Cap Go Meh, people bring offerings in the form of basket cakes and do the basket cake prayers to give thanks and beg for salvation.

People in ancient times believed that if children don’t eat basket cakes, their eyes will be thick. So, until now there are still not a few people who bring basket offerings when Cap Go Meh. After that, of course, there is a snack cake that can be eaten directly or fried. Even basket cakes can be distributed free of charge to the surrounding population.


Cap Go Meh is the last series of Chinese New Year Celebrations. The term Cap Go Meh comes from Hokkien accent which if interpreted means 15 days or nights after Chinese New Year. When decapitated per word, the word ‘cap’ has a meaning of 10, while ’go’ means 5, and ’meh’ in other words night. In China, Cap Go Meh is called the Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival. The celebration of Cap Go Meh was carried out to pay homage to the God of Thai Yi, the highest deity in the ancient Han Dynasty (206 BC-221 AD).

Previously, Cap Go Meh was carried out in a closed manner in the court circles and was not yet known to the general public. The festival is held at night, to the point that it must provide not a few lanterns and a variety of colorful lights. Lamps are a sign of welfare for all family members. So, Cap Go Meh is often called the Lantern Festival. When the Han Dynasty ended, Cap Go Meh became known to the public. When Cap Go Meh, people can see spree while feeling the sight of lanterns that have been given not a little decoration.

When Cap Go Meh, the people will watch Barongsai dan Liong (dragon) dances, gather to play games full of puzzles, and eat onde-onde. Throughout the celebration, of course, it will be enlivened by the presence of fireworks and firecrackers. Uniquely the Barongsai word is not from China but is based on the word ‘barong’ which is Javanese and the word ‘say’ which is, in other words, the lion in Hokkien accent. The Lion Dance is a symbol of happiness, joy, and well-being. While Lion is perceived as a symbol of dominance or strength, according to Chinese people’s beliefs, the family will be the biggest if their child appears in the Year of the Dragon.

Onde-onde has eaten when Cap Go Meh is often made crowded by all family members, especially women and children. Then, why should the Lion Dance and Liong dance while sounding firecrackers? The thing is, firecrackers are believed to be able to repel negative energy and will wash all the places passed by the Lion Dance.

In general, that is what Chinese people do when celebrating Cap Go Meh. In many regions, Cap Go Meh is carried out with unique traditions. For example, when Cap Go Meh, you can find a mate on Kemaro Island, Palembang. While in Singkawang, you can celebrate Cap Go Meh by watching the Tatung parade to get rid of evil spirits.