In September, my girlfriend Monica and I hosted a series of three mahjong lessons for a group of 16 friends of ours. I took a single mahjong lessons last spring and left feeling intrigued but like I needed a lot more practice under my belt. Monica had an itch to learn to play so we combined forces and enlisted our friends Anne and Caroline of Holy Mahj to teach us the ropes of the game using tile sets from The Mahjong Line. Learning mahjong with a group of friends was such a wonderful way to be together and was not as challenging as many of us feared.
With that said, more than one lesson is definitely beneficial (more thoughts on this below) but we all truly enjoyed learning something new, social, and engaging together. Mahjong is the new hobby my friends and I are loving! It’s so interactive and easy to gather around.
The New Hobby My Friends And I Are Loving
I am definitely a lover of games and credit them for keeping my relationships strong. Parlor games bring people together. My initial intrigue with Mahjong was twofold – I liked learning that it is generally a 4 person game and I loved the beautiful tiles. I was drawn to the idea of the community aspect of the game and of getting my girlfriends together to play while challenging our brains and having a great time. This is something that has proven to be true as we’ve all followed through with getting together in small groups for playing ever since we completed our lessons.
The beautiful tile sets were another initial draw to the game that I’ve learned so much more about since learning to play. One of my girlfriends who I’ve been playing with has her grandmother’s vintage set, which is so special! Our instructors play with tile sets from The Mahjong Line and they successfully got us all hooked on the product line. Each tile set is more gorgeous than the last and are all hand-painted. After our lessons, I decided to commit to the game by picking out my own tiles so that I could keep up playing as it really is a game you have to actively play to retain.
I opted for The Minimal Line in Petal Pink because our game room/formal living room is pink. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to color coordinate. The Botanical, Cheeky, and Ocean lines are also all favorites. It felt impossible to choose until I realized that going with the most straightforward design, aka the Minimal Line, was the best for me as a notice player.
Our Holy Mahj instructors made learning fun and not intimidating!
They had prizes for the winners and taught us everything we needed to know to feel confident enough to play without them. We started our first lesson off by playing with partners and finished our third and final lesson off by playing on our own. In our experience, we learned that three lessons was the perfect number. In the first lesson, we learned everything brand new, in the second lesson we honed in on what we learned, and in the third lesson we built our confidence to play going forward after our lessons. Learning mahjong wouldn’t be complete without snacks, without a little wine (more than a glass and it becomes harder to focus on the game, ha!), without setting a lively table, and without personal fun twists (for our last lesson, we made it a pajama night – too fun!).
If your live in Charleston and are curious about learning mahjong or about getting a group together for the fun of it, for a party, for a charity initiative, or anything else, then I cannot recommend Holy Mahj enough. Anne and Caroline are fantastic and full of fun! After a few lessons, I know you’ll be hooked and ordering your own tile sets from The Mahjong Line. For so many reasons, Mahjong is the new hobby my friends and I are loving. I’m curious, is there anything these days that you are gathering with your friends around? Book clubs are a classic. What else?