Game – China


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Lao Hu! Bang Zi! Ji!


Tiger! Stick! Chicken!

This tiger stick chicken game isn’t necessarily a ‘drinking’ game since I was taught this game when I was just a kid. Basically, to play this game, one challenges one’s opponent by holding up a chopstick in a ‘on guard’ fashion as if crossing swords. The opponent, if up to the challenges, places his or her chopstick against the challenger’s. Then the game starts when both parties tap their chopsticks together three times, followed by yelling either tiger, stick or chicken simultaneousely. Stick beats tiger because the tiger literally gets beat to death with a stick. Tiger beats chicken because, well, tigers eat chickens. Chicken beats stick because chickens can peck a stick to dust.

I loved playing this game as a child and I still love playing it now. It’s pretty much a different version of rock paper scissor which is pretty much universal, yes there’s also a Chinese version of that. However, tiger stick chicken is particularly enjoyable because instead of motioning with your hands, you’re clashing chopsticks, something that’s not usually acceptable at the dinner table unless you’re drunk or in a ‘festive’ mood.  When I was younger, we played with soda and water, but when the participants are older, it is definitely more of a drinking game.

This may not make sense to most cultures, the bit about the stick and tiger, but there’s quite a bit of history behind that. There’s a legend about a guy named Wu Song who is famous for defeating a tiger with a club, literally a ‘stick’ when translated into Chinese. That’s why this tiger/stick combo seems natural to Chinese people though it might be odd with other cultures. Rite of passage anyone?