Monday, June 11, 2007

Toys Were Us (7) – Longlong

Let me tell you about another simple game that we used to play in our kampong days. But the trouble is, I cannot recall much of the details. In fact, I am not even sure of the name of our toy. I think it was called Longlong.

Like the Tong Choi Jar, the Longlong is made from a discarded food container; in this case the humble tin can. We usually used a condensed milk can. Simply put a few pebbles into an empty can with the lead removed. Then seal the opening by either stamping on it (with you shoes on of course, to avoid getting cut by the sharp edges), or banging it flat with a rock or brick.






This game is actually a variation of Hide-and-Seek. You need at least 3 to 4 people to play it. Here’s how you play the game.

Draw a circle on the ground and place the Longlong in the centre. Then pick a loser by drawing lots or what in Singapore is known as Oh-bey-som.

One of the players will pick up the Longlong and hurl it as far as he can. The loser will then have to chase after it to retrieve it and replace it in the circle. Meantime, the rest will run and hide. He will have to look for them. As soon as he spots one of them, he will yell out his name and run as fast as he can to pick up the Longlong and rattle it. At the same time, the player who has been spotted will try to beat him to the Longlong. Whoever is slower will become the loser for the next round of the game. The game is then repeated.

That as far as I can recall is how the Longlong is played. If any of the ‘oldies’ reading this blog remember differently, please enlighten us.



By the way, you must be wondering why I have removed the sticker/label of the tin can. I too was wondering why my memory of the Longlong was a shiny tin can without the label/sticker. I think it was because at that time, the condensed milk manufacturers had a promotion exercise whereby if you collected a certain number of stickers, you could exchange it for some gifts or cash.

14 comments:

Victor said...

I've never played this game before but I played straight hide-and-seek. We city kids usually save the milk cans to be used as rice-measuring cups or as a reel for our home-made glass string for our layang-layang (kites).

I don't recall exchanging the milk labels for gifts or cash but I remember that at one stage, the inside of each of the labels (of Milkmaid condensed milk) had a picture of a type of animal. There was also a supplied scrap book with accompanying descriptions of the animals but no pictures. Our job was to cut out the pictures and paste them in the empty boxes in scrap book. I don't know why but most kids at that time found this activity quite fun.

BTW, is there a mistake in the phrase "with the lead removed"? Shouldn't it be "with the lid removed"? One good turn deserves another. ;)

peter said...

There were games that boys don't like to play with the girls in those days. Example: 5 stones, Hop-Skotch and dolls. Considered as sissy stuff.

One thing though I did remember. My cousin always wanted me to play "Father, Mother". Many decades later, I got married with kids, she is still single. Very funny?

Lam Chun See said...

Thanks for pointing our the spelling mistake, Victor. I was too preoccupied with trying to figure out what is the correct name/term for 'loser'. Is it Pasang?

Another use for the tin can is to make a 'telephone line' with it by joining 2 cans with a string. But I didn't blog about that becos I think the kids already know about that. I have seen it in one of the primary school science text books.

Brian Mitchell said...

yes I recall making the telephones with the two cans joined by string - although my memory is that they were never as effective as you hoped, probably all to do with having to have the string really tight.

It seems to me that there is a strong element of creativity involved in these old games - creativity by the children themselves rather than the sort bought from software developers and the like!

Victor said...

For making those primitive telephones, we recycled old ice-cream paper cups instead of milk cans - easier to punch holes in their bottoms.

It was also poverty that led to the creativity in the making of toys. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

Derek Tait said...

Hi Chun See
I remember in the 1960s that there was a certain brand of condensed milk that had pictures of various species of fish on the labels that you could cut off and stick on a wallchart.I use to get my mum to buy iy even though I didn't like the milk! Maybe that's why the labels were missing.
Best wishes,
Derek.

Derek Tait said...

Hi
Just realised that Victor said the same the same thing about the labels!
Best wishes,
Derek.

zen said...

When coming games, my mind could not recollect much, but I liked to collect things such as cigarette packets, comics -wide range from beano to cowboy series. There was also a game whereby boys would draw a marker-line across the ground and all of us would throw a piece of stone each behind another line drawn some distance away, to see whose stone could reach nearest to the marker-line. To beat my rivals, I found a piece of flat palm-size marble, which could slide easily towards the target (good judgement was needed), enabling me to win many times, giving me great pleasure.

Derek Tait said...

For an English kid like me,the toys available in the 1960s in Singapore were amazing.There was nothing like them in England.My favourites were the toy tin robots but there were also planes,cars and spaceships etc.I remember that some of the toys had been made using tin from recycled coke tins!
I think I remember that Tang's had a huge toy department and at Christmas they would all be operating all over the floor.

Cool Insider said...

Nice use of an empty milk can for a game. I wonder though if it can be quite a formidable weapon if in the wrong hands? Imagine a metal can with pebbles inside being hurled at you with significant force!

Tom said...

tom said ...
When I was a lad,I remember useing two tin cans, you turn them upsides down, put two holes in the top sides of both cans thread a bit of string big enough to reach your waist put your two feet on top of the cans keep the string tight whith both hands and start hoping away.

Lam Chun See said...

Yes Walter, these cans can be quite dangerous. My younger brother had a rather nasty cut from one such accident I described here.

Lam Chun See said...

Yes Tom, I remember that 'toy' you described. We used to do that too. In your case, was it in the UK?

Tom said...

Tom said...
Chun see, yes I played that game I described, in Scotland but I dont know if it was played else were in the UK.