Mar 23, 2014 in

Chinlone is a cooperative ball game that is played round every corner in Myanmar. The goal is simple: The ball may not touch the ground. It’s quite similar to Hacky Sack, the ball however is made out of rattan. The players kick the ball with all sorts of tricks to keep it up in the air.

Now, it seems that every second traveler I meet in Myanmar is German. Why is that? No idea, you tell me.
Anyway, one of that crowd is Clemens from Frankfurt. I got into conversation with him and he told me that he comes to Myanmar every two years to train Chinlone with a local team. He is out to promote the game in Germany. Unfortunately, I missed to go to his training because I was at the mediation centre.

A few children monks playing the chinlone variant with a net in the middle. The rules are a bit like volleyball but of course, they may only touch the ball with their legs and head, not with the arms.

Chinlone is so popular and part of the Myanmese culture that it made it’s way onto the 5 kyat banknote.
German football on the other hand didn’t even make it on the 50 Pfennig coin. Instead, it had a woman planting an oak tree, I never understood this as a boy. The coin-makers of the early BRD seemed to have some obsession with oak trees.

In Myanmar, when you tell people you are from Germany, they enthuse about the country and are like, “Oooh, Germany! Yes, Bundesliga, Bayern Munich! Very good!”. In South East Asia in general, Germany is known first of all for football. Then, also quality technology, but that falls far behind of football.

So, the fat hen which fluttered from the Bundestag onto our Euro coins could easily be replaced by a big round football, after all the shape is already similar. ;-)

By the way, the 5 kyat banknote is worth only 0.00375 Euro now, so it is not really in circulation anymore. The lowest denomination I could get while in Myanmar was a 50 kyat note, and that only because I asked for it. Lena on the other hand still has the full array, a 1 kyat, 5 kyat and a 10 kyat note from when she was in Myanmar over 2 years(?) ago.

Last but not least, here is a short video about some Myanmese playing the cooperative variant at the streetside.