A Dallas-based company faces a backlash for trying to give Mahjong, the popular, a “respectful refresh” and a “modern makeover,” centuries-old Chinese tile game your aim is to be it to make accessible to the “stylish masses”

According to the Mahjong Lineage About Us page, the idea for the company came about because one of its founders, Kate LaGere, believed that “traditional tiles … don’t reflect the fun of playing with friends would have “And that” nothing came close to her style or personality. “So she hired two other women, Annie O’Grady and Bianca Watson, to come up with her own” respectful refresher “on the game (A November corporate release on Paper City stated that LaGere was “looking for a unique set that she could proudly bring to her friends home to play on, but was empty”)

The result: colorful sets with names like “The Minimal Line” and “The Cheeky Line” that sell for $ 325 to $ 425, and a $ 50 play mat that says “Not Your Mamas Mahjong” and “Get Your” Mahj On ”

The company first launched its products in November but received heavy criticism online this week when screenshots of its deaf-mute copy were shared on social media None of the founders has Chinese ancestors, but on their website it happily says: “We” rethink what mahjong looks like “Indeed: The more expensive sets do not contain any parts with Chinese characters at all” My culture is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, “wrote Twitter user Jeremy Lee on Monday alongside pictures from the Mahjong Line website” It is a product of thousands of years of tradition and history. My culture is not a cheap coloring book that can be filled out and “made pretty” by the standards of privileged teenyboppers ”

As critics have pointed out, the company repeatedly whitewashes Mahjong’s history, cultural origins and actors on its website. Take the FAQ page: In a section titled “American vs. American Chinese Mahjong “, the company focuses the history of mahjong on an American businessman named Joseph Babcock, who wrote a book about the game in the 1920s.” Over time, the game evolved from the original Chinese version to a decidedly American game, with jokers added to the game, “says the website

Why the copy on #themahjongline is so problematic The white rebranding as stylish luxury and the Chinese original as the lack of personality of styleBrands are doing this all the time. Laying others down to sell themselvesTwittercom / f8PeAX7boy

Each of the company’s five sets cheekily target a hyper-specific composite personality type, such as the girl who “loves a good Eames chair, the smell of coffee shops, unusually long walks on clear days, and the pulse of NYC” or Someone who is “a Francophile at heart” If you are not sure who you are, you can take a quiz. Answer a few questions about things like who you would rather have dinner guests (“Notorious RBG”, Julia Child or Tina Fey) and who your dream decorator is (Kelly Wearstler, Pierce & Ward or Miles Redd) Mahjong Line will tell you whether you are the Cheeky Gal who is “equally happy in LEIN or Austin” or the Botanical Gal, who loves “vintage portrait painting” “None of the questions or customer descriptions refer to China or Chinese culture

“Three white women with no respect for Chinese culture or the traditional game of mahjong are out here making trendy mahjong sets worth $ 325 in 2021 Sorry, traditional symbols aren’t for you “Funny” or “stylish” enough are, tweeted editor Alyse Whitney

The Mahjong Lineage has not yet acknowledged the criticism and has not responded to the Cut’s request for comment, but the company has turned off comments on its Instagram page and deleted an Instagram picture of its three founders, but comments remain on the Company’s Facebook page activated

“They are erasing Chinese culture from our eyes,” wrote one user, “Please honor Chinese culture, don’t try to make it better””

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Mahjong, the Mahjong Lineage

World News – CA – Three women decided Mahjong needed a “modern makeover.”

Source: https://www.thecut.com/2021/01/the-mahjong-line-accused-racism-appropriation.html