Where are the ‘pasang’ boards?

National 1 minute, 55 seconds


INTEREST in the traditional board game pasang among the younger generation remains despite difficulty in owning the boards these days.

According to a facilitator on the sidelines of a pasang workshop held yesterday at the Language and Literature Bureau’s (LLB) library in the capital, their office rely on a single boardmaker.

Norhayati Hj Masri, a museum guide under the Museum Department’s Education Services Unit, said that _pasang _boards could not be bought “anywhere” these days.

“We usually have a contact person to buy the boards from, and it used to be very easy in the past for us to contact the person. These days, I have heard that the person doesn’t really have the time to make them anymore,” Norhayati said.

When asked, Norhayati disagreed that the increasing lack of the boards was due to decreasing demand.

“Besides not having the time to make them, I think (increasing unavailability) is because people are unsure these days of how to craft a pasang board accurately, and also there might be fewer people with expertise in woodworking,” she said.

The museum guide pointed out that it was impossible to sell an incomplete _pasang _board game without all the required parts: the board, the black and white tokens, and a guide on pasang patterns or techniques.

Despite the lack of the boards, , Norhayati maintained it was still common to see children and youth still expressing interest in learning the game (they also often ask where they can purchase the game) at _pasang _workshops and demonstrations.

“At first glance, the younger generation often sees the_ pasang _game as confusing as they don’t understand it and don’t know how to play it.

“But when we show them how – by demonstrations or by teaching them – and they try to play it themselves, they often develop interest, even if they do think it’s complicated,” Norhayati said.

She added the youth even seem to be more interested in playing _pasang _than other traditional games like congkak.

Norhayati also shared that her unit received plenty of requests for _pasang _workshops and demonstrations from schools annually.

The museum guide also said that there is no association for _pasang _players at the moment, adding that it might be an idea that should be looked into.

The Brunei Times