Sey Game has been the most popular folk traditional game for men of all ages since ancient times to present-day. It is most commonly played in open spaces in the late afternoon or in pagodas during Khmer New Year and other Festivals.
There are three types of Sey: Sey Mi-Loang, Sey Dork and Sey Paen.
- Sey Mi-Loang made from rattan; weave into a round shape with a small pattern and has a similar size to a small coconut shell.
- Sey Dork made from rattan and is very similar to Sey Mi-Loang only that it has a bigger size with bigger patterns.
- Sey Paen (in English called Shuttlecock kicking) made from a combination of feather and leather or fish scale (as a series of discs) but nowadays they use plastic instead. The leather or fish scales are cut into a round shape with a hole in the center and then stack into 4 or 5 layers, subsequently put together 4 or 5 medium size feathers into the punctured holes and fold the bottom ends to the side. Wires are used to tie the feather leather or fish scale together, preventing it from coming apart. The discs at the base give the Sey great flying power when it is kicked correctly and cause it to descend base-side down for another kick.
How to play:
The rules of all three types of Sey are very similar:
- Four or Five players gather in a small or large circle (Sey Paen can be played with two players standing across each other).
- While playing, players are divided into pairs. Each pair has to stand across his partner in the circle.
- To begin, the player who has Sey in his hand throws it towards his partner. The partner then either kicks or lift it to the air back to his partner. It will either fall back to the person who kicked it or to other players; whoever it is, he will then have to kick it or lift it back up in the air.
- Players stand ready, eyes focusing on Sey, and prepare to kick it shall it falls at the player.
- Players’ goal is to kick Sey towards his partner; occasionally it falls at other players. Thus players compete for it.
Though the rules are very similar, nonetheless players must use different parts of the body for each type accordingly:
- Sey Mi-loang: players shall use the instep of their feet.
- Sey Dork: players can use their elbow, knee, shoulders and head.
- Sep Paen: players can only use the sole of their feet, ankle, heels, elbow, knee, head and shoulder. The use of insteps and palms are prohibited. And, it is forbidden to play with hand (Nowadays, it is exceptional for those who do not advance in this game especially women).
Sey is game for men of all age and is playing in the open space or when there is a celebration at pagodas. However, due to the modernity in the society, women especially young ages are also playing this game. Sey Paen is a great sport of Khmer society from the past to the present. And, it is also considered as sportive game and intended to a physical exercise sport for general Khmer people and athletes to strengthen wellbeing, spiritual and mental consciousness which similar to the football. You can play this game as a physical exercise everywhere and every time as your wish. You can find this kind of activities in the public gardens around the country, for example, Phnom Penh Capital and many others cities throughout the country.