Traditional games in South Korea

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Traditional Korean Games can be literally translated as Jeontongnori, in Korean. Koreans enjoyed many different games throughout korea's long history. They played these games to communicate and spend time with their family, friends, relatives and even neighbors. Playing these games helped create bonds betweenplayers. Today, many games are still played by Koreans and even foreigners. Most popular games are: Ganggang Sulrae, Jegichagi, Neolttwigi, Ssireum, Tuho and Yunnori.

It's no big surprise that Korea is one of the best-developed countries when it comes to video games.

However what about off-screen games? Do Koreans still enjoy playing historical ones?

Originally, Korea's traditional games were created from folk beliefs. For a long time, the peninsula has been an agrarian society, and Koreans had strong faith when it came to gods. It's around this period, posterior to the exorcism (performed with singing and dancing) that Korean's traditional games have developed. Although many folk beliefs vanished, people continued to play games even if it nearly disappeared under Japanese occupation. According to the region, games and rules can differ.

Neolttwigi 널뛰기

Chajeon nori was a game played by men, and in fact many Korean games were traditionally gender segregated, reflecting the different roles of men and women in Korean society. One game that was long part of women's lives, and is still popular mostly among women today, is nol-ttwigi (or neolttwigi), also known as Korean seesaw. This simple outdoor game is played with a basic seesaw, one person on each end, and often one person sitting in the middle. As opposed to 

Neolttwigi is a seesaw play and it is a girls' game. Girls stand on the seesaw and play. There is a slightly bit different rule for this in comparison to the western one. It is believed that it started as a way coughs over the family's high garden wall because women in the past couldn't go out from their house frequently.

Jegichagi 제기 차기 

Jegichagi is an outdoor children's game. It involves the use of a Jegi / 제기 that ressembles a badminton shuttlecock and is made of a small coin-size paper, or cloth. The idea is to keep the jegi in the air by kicking it and keep it from touching the ground. It used to be played mainly in winter but has become a year-round game. They make Jegi with a paper and coin or small rock which looks similar to a shuttlecock. The rule is simple and easy. You play shuttlecock with your feet.

Ssireum 씨름

Ssireum is a very popular sport in Korea. This type of wrestling is played in a sandy ring where two contestants, both large men, have a belt rolled around their waist and legs. They each try to grab the opponent´s belt using their strength and technique to knock down their rival. The first one to touch the floor with his knees or entire body is the loser. 

Ssireum is a form of traditional wrestling. It was mainly played by men. It is a type of folk competition in
which two players, 토토 holding on to a satba (a cloth-sash tied around the waist) try to use their strength and various techniques to wrestle each other to the ground. It became a sports game in the modern times. On traditional Korean holidays such as Seolnal(the Lunar New Year Day), Koreans like to watch Ssireum Tournament on TV.

Tuho 투호

A popular traditional game between royal family members originated in ancient China and can be seen on period-piece Korean TV soap operas. The purpose of the game is to aim and toss an arrow or stick into a narrow quiver or thin wooden jar from a certain distance. Players try to get their arrow into the quiver as many times as possible. This game is often played around Seollal Lunar New Year's Day and the Chuseok Mid-Autumn Harvest Festival. The game is very easy to play and doesn't require any complex equipment, just a simple quiver and some rubber-tipped arrows.

Tuho was one of the popular games played between royal families and high class people. The rule is simple. It is similar to the game of horseshoe, in which participants attempt to throw arrows into a pot or container.