Mahjong was featured prominently in Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians. Photos: Crazy Rich Asians, Shutterstock Mahjong was featured prominently in Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians. Photos: Crazy Rich Asians, Shutterstock
Mahjong was featured prominently in Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians. Photos: Crazy Rich Asians, Shutterstock
Arthur Tam
Opinion

Opinion

Arthur Tam

The Mahjong Line was playing with fire with its ‘refresh’ of the beloved tradition, recently featured in Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians – but how did the Chinese tile game begin?

Considering its popularity in Hong Kong and abroad, among everyone from gamblers to business moguls, it’s no wonder this recent ‘modern makeover’ provoked an angry backlash and accusations of cultural appropriation – but where and when was mahjong born?

Mahjong was featured prominently in Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians. Photos: Crazy Rich Asians, Shutterstock Mahjong was featured prominently in Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians. Photos: Crazy Rich Asians, Shutterstock
Mahjong was featured prominently in Hollywood film Crazy Rich Asians. Photos: Crazy Rich Asians, Shutterstock
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Arthur Tam

Arthur Tam

Arthur Tam is a queer Chinese-American journalist based in New York and writes at the intersection of LGBTQ politics, fashion, and pop culture. His work has appeared in Time Out Hong Kong, Dazed and Confused, Forbes, CNN Style, and Still/Loud.