Netizens Are Riled-Up Over “Whitewashed” RM1.7K Mahjong Tiles Created by Caucasian Company

(source: IG @themahjongline)

While Mahjong is a tool of mass entertainment, it also represents traditional Chinese culture. It’s important to note that each illustration on the tiles has its own meaning – these illustrations not only mirror the wisdom of Chinese people but also express their unique aesthetic ideas.

Now, imagine the rich history of the ancient game being shattered by none other than… white people.

Recently, netizens were seen calling out an American company called The Mahjong Line where they redesigned the tiles for a “cool and modern crowd”. Many deemed it as whitewashing and gentrifying Mahjong with some even throwing in the word ‘cultural appropriation’ into the debate.

(source: The Mahjong Line)

The company was founded by three Caucasian ladies, Annie, Kate and Bianca.

On their website, it wrote: “Kate discovered that the artwork of the traditional tiles, while beautiful, was all the same – and did not reflect the fun that was had when playing with her friends. And nothing came close to mirroring her style and personality”.

Annie, Kate & Bianca (source: The Mahjong Line)

Welp! Because of that Kate decided that the venerable game needed a “refresh”. The website even explained that their mahjong tiles are “modern size for legibility” by stating that “the struggle is real when reading the old-school tiles”.

And well, netizens especially the Chinese were not having it! Check out what they had to say: