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Banh Kli / Marble Shooting

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The game tests a player’s marble shooting skills. Players have to shoot their marbles (known as kli) into holes (known as loo) and also successfully hit their opponent’s marbles if they are to win. Played for bets, children are often motivated by the chance to steal the best marbles from others’ collections or gain small monetary prizes. Also played by older generations, the game is still popular today in both urban and rural areas of Cambodia.

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Bei Daok Mouy / Three Minus One

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A lively game of "Catch". The aim of the game is for the ‘Chaser’ to catch a solo ‘Runner’ before they reach the safety of a pair of team mates. As the game’s name suggests; once the Runner has joined a pair and formed a group of three, one player must immediately switch roles and become the next Runner.

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Chak Cheung Muoy / Jumping on One Leg

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A simple, yet entertaining game of ‘Catch’. In the game, players have to try to catch their opponents while hopping on only one leg.

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Chak Loklak / Finger Grabing

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A game of "Catch". In the game players have to avoid being caught by their opponent; if they escape having their fingers grabbed, they then have to successfully complete two more challenges to win the game.

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Chhma Denh [or] Chap Kandol / Cat Chasing the Mouse

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A much loved game of "Catch". Inspired by the cartoon ‘Tom & Jerry’, in the game the Cat must do all they can to capture the Mouse while they both weave in and out of a large circle of players.

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Chravak / Chain

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A game of speed and hand-eye coordination. In this game, players link together a number of small plastic rings to create short chains. As they play, participants have to throw one or more chains into the air and either catch them using only the back of their hands or before catching, pick up a specified number of chains with their free hand.

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Dandeum Sleuk Chheu / Stealing the Leaves

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A running game. In the game players have to try to beat their opponent by running into the game area, grabbing a small leafy twig and making it back to their team mates without first being caught.

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Heung / Stick Hitting

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

In the game, players take turns to flick or hit a short stick called Koun Heung with a long stick called Me Heung. The more skilled the players are at hitting the stick, the more points they can win. A game of hand-eye coordination and team work, Heung is best played in an open space that is free from nearby buildings and bystanders that could be accidentally hit during play.

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Khleng Chab Koun Moan / Eagle Catches Baby Chickens

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A game of "Catch". The aim of the game is for the Eagle to try to outwit the Mother Hen and catch the Chicks that she is trying to protect.

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Kup Sey / Shuttlecock Throwing

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

In the game, players have to avoid being hit by a shuttlecock that is thrown by their opponents.

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Lot Kaosou / Jumping with Rubber-band Rope

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The game requires players to complete a sequence of jumps over a long rope made of rubber bands, which is held by their opponents. Each jump in the sequence is more challenging than the next and only the most agile win.

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Ou / Humming 

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A fast paced team game. In the game, players have to enter their opponent’s territory, catch another player and make it back to their own territory safely, while continuously humming, “Ooooooooooou”. The “Ou” sound that the players make while they are ‘attacking’ their opponents is from where the game finds its name.

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Phka Champa Phka Champei / Champa Champei

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A guessing game. In the game, blindfolded players have to use all of their senses to guess the identity of a mystery opponent. To keep the real identity of the players a secret, each of them is given a code name, usually that of a native flower such as Champa (Frangipani) or Champei (Magnolia).

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Polis Chab Chaor / Cops and Robbers

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

An action packed game of ‘Catch’ enjoyed by boys. To win the game, a team of ‘Policemen’ have to track down and capture a gang of crafty ‘Thieves’.

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Pongrot Koun Kramom / Stealing the Bride

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A popular running game. In the game a ‘Couple’ have to walk around a circle of players and select another Couple to compete with, by hitting their hands. Once selected, both Couples race each other round the game area. The aim is for one Couple to try to ‘break’ up their opponents by making them lose their grip on each other’s hands. The first Couple to make it back to the starting place while still together wins the game.

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Sva Dandeum Ti / Monkey Steals the Seat

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

A running game. In it, players have to keep swapping places with their team mates who stand at different corners of the game area. The players have to run as quickly as possible to make it to their new position, before the Monkey, who stands in the middle, steals their ‘seat’.

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Tinh Ovleuk / Buying Watermelons 

Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

Involving lots of lighthearted acting, Tinh Ovleuk tests the strength of all that play it. The aim is for a team of ‘Watermelons’ to resist being plucked from the ground by a relentless team of ‘Buyers’. During the game the Buyers will pull each of the Watermelons with all their might, and when they have plucked one away they will ‘eat’ their juicy prize before moving onto the next.

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Tress / Pick up Sticks

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

To win the game you need to be able to throw a stone up in the air, pick up sticks and pass them between your hands before catching the stone as it comes back down. This game will test how quickly you can move your hands and how well you can catch!

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