Whether we like it or not, the majority of popular sports practiced around the world originate in the West.
But, before football, basketball, and badminton were introduced to Southeast Asia, what did we do for fun? Here are some Asian-inspired methods to work up a sweat.
1. Sepak Takraw
Sepak Takraw, which is enjoyed in practically every Southeast Asian country, is the most authentically Southeast Asian sport. Even its name is a mix of two Southeast Asian languages: sepak, Malay for “kick,” and Takraw, Thai for “woven rattan ball,” which refers to the game’s woven rattan ball.
Sepak Takraw is identical to volleyball in that it is played on a court with a net. In contrast to volleyball, players are only allowed to touch the ball with their feet, knees, chest, and head.
Spiking the ball requires a good amount of agility due to the net’s height of 1.52 meters. It’s like witnessing a combination of volleyball and football, with acrobatics tossed in for good measure.
2. Traditional Longboat Race
Thailand’s longboat (ruea hung yao) has a distinctive profile that makes it an icon that is practically associated with the kingdom’s image.
The slim boats, however, were not only for show; They were also employed to train soldiers throughout the Ayutthaya dynasty, which lasted 600 years.
The Thais, however, recognized the enjoyable and competitive aspects of the training, and it quickly evolved into a sporting event that continues to this day.
Many regional boat races take place around Thailand throughout the year, but the major championships take place in September and October when the rivers are at their maximum levels.
Field hockey is a member of the hockey family of team sports. Each team has ten field players and a goalkeeper, and they must transport a round, hard, plastic hockey ball to the opposing goal with a hockey stick.
The current game was created in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century. The game is currently popular in sections of Western Europe, South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and the United States, particularly in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states.
Badminton is a racquet sport in which players use racquets to strike a shuttlecock through a net. “Singles” (one player per side) and “doubles” (two players per side) are the most popular versions of the game (with two players per side). Badminton is a popular outdoor activity that may be played in a yard or on the beach, with heavy games taking place on a rectangular indoor court. To score points, the shuttlecock is smacked with the racquet and lands within the opposite team’s half of the court.
Before the shuttlecock travels over the net, each team can only hit it once. When the shuttlecock hits the floor or the umpire calls a fault, the game is over.
The game evolved from the earlier games of battledore and shuttlecock in British India. Denmark came to dominate European play, but the game has grown in popularity in Asia, with China dominating recent events.
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