Mah Jong - American Version (NWL)

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Program Type: Lecture/Workshop
Age Group: Adult
Registration for this event is no longer open.


Mah Jong is a fascinating game that originated in China and was adopted by Americans in the 1920s.  It is a game for 4 people played with beautifully carved Chinese tiles. The American version of the game has added jokers and a standardized card that is published annually by the National Mah Jong League (NMJL).  A cut-throat game, players take turns trying to assemble the various hands on the NMJL card.  Each winning hand is awarded points (determined by the NMJL) depending on the difficulty of the hand and and other factors.  Often players play for pennies and can be seen toting a small embroidered or beaded Mah Jong change purse with which to pay or collect from other players.  

Allison Friday will be the teacher for the session and has taught American and Chinese Mah Jong for about 15 years.  Always intrigued by small pieces in boxes, she fell in love with and purchased a Mah Jong set at an antique store before she even knew what it was.  To learn the game, her family was amused to watch as she set up 4 individual hands on a card table and ran around it playing each players' hand.  Allison runs about four six-week long classes each year for the ERACE Adult Education program in Branford.  She delights in seeing her students' gain confidence, develop strategies, and come to love the game as much as she does.

PARKING: There is ample library event parking in the nearby Isham Garage. Please bypass the garage kiosks and come directly to the Noah Webster Library Meeting Room, 20 South Main Street, where you may validate your parking with your license plate number.

Supported with funding from the West Hartford Library Foundation.