We named our shop Chinlone Books because we wanted a name that was distinctively Burmese, and chinlone is indeed a very Burmese sport.
Chinlone is played with a cane ball, very similar to the ball used to play Takraw, or Sepak Takraw, another popular sport in Southeast Asia. But unlike Takraw, which uses a net (similar to volleyball) and pits two teams against one another, in Chinlone there is no direct team competition. Instead, a group of people (usually five persons) will form a circle and kick the ball around, striving to keep the ball in the air without it falling to the ground. The result is a very fast-paced sport, often featuring spins, back-of-the-foot kicks, and some dazzling acrobatic moves.
Although most Chinlone players are content to play for fun and exercise, there are official Chinlone tournaments and judged competitions, including a very big one held at Mandalay's Mahamuni Pagoda each summer. That tourney features teams from all over Myanmar and other countries too.
And don't forget the band! At any Chinlone tournament the action is accompanied by a traditional Burmese band, complete with plenty of loud percussion. The rhythmic pounding of drums and cymbals gives the game a thrilling, propulsive soundtrack.
More information about Chinlone can be found online: