(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.

‘Gasing Warisan Pulau Aur’ (handmade by local islander)
Pulau Aur’s local hand-made ‘gasing’. (No sharp nails on edge of ‘gasing’)

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’.

‘Kayu Kemuning’ wood to make ‘Gasing Warisan Pulau Aur’

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.

Pak Abdul Manaf (Sebukang Bay Resort landlord) teaching group from Jabatan Taman Laut Malaysia how to spin ‘gasing’

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’.

Variet of ‘gasing’ produced in Pulau Aur

Gasing Pangkah

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.

Team of youngster playing ‘gasing pangkah’ games in team

Gasing Uri

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.

Kids playing ‘Gasing Uri‘ game during a local community program
Talented kids in playing top spinning
A lady here seen to be enjoying herself in the ‘gasing’ game

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.

Group photo of local community, Sebukang Bay Resort, Jabatan Taman Laut Johor, Group of Media and Tourism Malaysia
Mr Husin (local community) teaching Ms Hanum from (Sinar Harian Reporter) how to play gasing
Newspaper cover about traditional ‘Gasing Warisan’ in Sinar Harian
Me (writer), Mr Mohd Nizam (Director of Jabatan Taman Laut Johor) and local Aur Island community together watching ‘Gasing Warisan’ Competition.

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