Drinking Games in China

Chinese food culture is very various and also has some games during dining time. If you have a China tour and eat with Chinese, you should know the following.

Drinking games, popularly known as Jiuling in Chinese, are a popular pastime with a long tradition in China. The games may include contest games like archery, arrow pitching, chess playing, dicing, finger guessing and animal betting, and the more elegant literal games for beaux-esprit and cultured ladies where players do their best to produce fine literal pieces, such as asking riddles, connecting idioms, composing couplets or verses, telling stories or jokes, and so on. The following are some examples of jiuling.

1. Finger Guessing

Two people sit at the same table. Using one hand, they simultaneously stretch out fingers (several fingers stick out, while the others are close to the palm) and shout out a number between one and 10. If a player guesses right, and says the total number of fingers extended by both players, he/she wins. The loser then has to take a drink. If both players guess right or if both guess wrong, the game continues. If a person accidentally shouts a number that is less than the number of fingers he/she has stretched, he/she has to take a drink.

2. “A Little Bee” Game

Chinese have their own version of the “rock, paper, scissors” game. It is a game for two. First, the players sing a little verse: "Liangzhi xiao mifeng ya, fei dao huacong zhong ya, fei ya" (two little bees fly to the flowers, and fly). After singing, each player imitates either a rock, paper or scissors with his/her hand. The winner (the one who shows a sign that beats the other player's sign’) must pretend to slap the other player, while saying "Pya Pya." The loser must pretend to be slapped while saying "Ah Ah.” If both people show the same sign, they pretend to kiss, while saying “Mua Mua.” Of course, this has to be done as quickly as possible. The first to say the wrong sentence or does the wrong action must take a drink.

3. Seven

The principle is to avoid saying the “bad” number, which is seven. People sitting around the table, in succession, say numbers. The first player says "one,” the second says “two,” and so on. The person who is supposed to say “seven” must move directly to “eight.” The players go on counting, avoiding the number “seven,” all of its multiples (14, 21 etc.) and all the numbers including “seven,” such as 17, 27, 37 etc. Of course, this gets harder and harder. The person who accidentally says a forbidden number has to be punished by taking a drink.

4. Dicing

Dice are rolled and contestants have to guess the number of spots. Those who make an incorrect guess pay a forfeit by drinking a cup.

5. Gong Show

With one person beating a drum or gong, the others sitting around the table will quickly pass a flower from one to another. When the drummer stops, whoever has the flower will drink and even give a simple performance.

Chinese drinking tables won’t bore people. These games do not require a great deal of acumen and are thus easy to learn and play.

But in ethnic group, they may haven't these games. If you have a Shangri-La tour and eat with locals, you may obey other rules.

  1. 2012/12/03(月) 18:56:18|
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