(Credit Video source to : Sinar TV for coverage video ‘Gasing Pulau Aur’)
Gasing or Top Spinning…
One of local community games in Pulau Aur, Mersing Johor during their ‘leisure-time’ and monsoon season is playing ‘Gasing Warisan‘ or traditional top spinning. Gasing is one of Malaysian traditional games, which is played in groups and the players either compete individually or by team. Culture and traditional games also a part of tourism and usually attract tourists who are interested in understanding local culture, heritage and history.
Special Feature of ‘Gasing Warisan Pulau Aur’ :
Normal Malaysian Gasing is round in shape and attached with a sharp nail in the middle of the shape. But Aur Islanders do it differently; , our gasing are crafted without the sharp nail needle and it is tapered shapely in the middle. The aim is to make it spin and maintain its balance on the surface. In order to spin the gasing, the player needs to roll it with a rope or string. Once it is covered, the player needs to throw the Gasing and at the same time pull the rope carefully on the surface.
Hand-Made ‘Pulau Aur Gasing’
What makes the ‘Gasing Warisan Pulau Aur’ special, it is locally handcrafted from the wood of “Pokok Kemuning” as the body of ‘gasing‘ which can be obtained from the forest in Pulau Aur. After the selection of wood for the body, the next process is cutting, shaping and rubbing the surface of ‘gasing’.
My father (Mr Abd Manaf Bin Hasan, the owner of Sebukang Bay Resort) also play a part as Gasing maker for youngers and kids of Pulau Aur player. He also helps in guiding youngster from selection of appropriate wood, making the ‘gasing’ to how to play the game.
The Joy of Playing Gasing or Top Spinning !!
The spinning time depends on the strength of throw and the stability of the ‘gasing’. The more stable the ‘gasing’, the longer it will spin. The way how the rope is wrapped around the ‘gasing‘ is another determining factor; if the rope is not properly wrapped, it will not be possible to spin the ‘gasing’.
Most of adult-male player participate in ‘gasing pangkah‘ competition. They will cross the top of gasing by knocking off the opponent’s gasing . This game is usually played by two teams with each team consists of two to five players. Before the game starts, they ‘warm up’ by battling the gasing first.
Whila male players play the gasing pangkah, the children women enjoy themselves in ‘Gasing Uri’ competition. They will fight based on the duration of how long will the gasing spin. ‘Gasing Uri‘ is usually played to see and test the durability of the top’s swivel. Gasing with the longest spinning hour will be counted as the winner. Some gasing are capable of spinning for over an hour.
Preserving Our Traditional Games
During the competition, me (writer) and Jabatan Taman Laut Malaysia Johor, Media Group and Tourism Malaysia really enjoyed ourselves and truth be told, we feel so lucky to be able to be a part of this competition. This game carries sentimental value to the locals and indeed a legacy to our children and the future generation. Director of Jabatan Taman Laut Johor (Mr Mohd Nizam Bin Ismail) took the opportunity to share ‘souvenier troll’ to all contestant. ‘Gasing Warisan Competition’ was purposely organized as an unremitting reminder that we can achieve much more by being together as a community.