Sepak takraw


Reading — Intermediate Level
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Sepak takraw, or kick volleyball, is a sport native to Southeast Asia. Sepak takraw differs from the similar sport of footvolley in its use of a rattan ball and only allowing players to use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball.

"Sepak" is the Malay word for kick and "takraw" is the Thai word for a woven rattan ball; therefore sepak takraw quite literally means "to kick a ball".

In Indonesia, sepak takraw was spread from nearby Malacca across the strait to Riau islands and Riau area in Sumatra as early as the 16th century, where it is also called as "Sepak Raga" in local Malay tongue, at that time some of Sumatran areas were part of Malacca sultanate. From there the Malay people spread across archipelago and introduced the game to Buginese people in Sulawesi. Then the game is developed as Buginese traditional game which is called "Raga" (the players are called "Pa'Raga"). The "Raga" can trace its origin from Malacca Sultanate, and was popular in South Sulawesi since the 19th century. Some men playing "Raga" encircling within a group, the ball is passed from one to another and the man who kicked the ball highest is the winner. "Raga" is also played for fun by demonstrating some tricks, such as kicking the ball and putting it on top of player's head holds.

In Thailand (formerly Siam), there was evidence that the Thai had played Sepak Takraw since the Ayutthaya Kingdom, at least during the reign of King Naresuan (1590–1605). A French historian, François Henri Turpin, wrote about how the Siamese played the game of takraw to stay in shape. Murals at Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo which was built in 1785, depict the Hindu god Hanuman playing sepak takraw in a ring with a troop of monkeys. The game was played in its circle form for hundreds of years, and the modern version of sepak takraw began taking shape in Thailand sometime during the early 1740s. In 1929 the Siam Sports Association drafted the first rules for takraw competition. Four years later, the association introduced the volleyball-style net and held the first public contest. Within just a few years, takraw was introduced to the curriculum in Siamese schools. The game became such a cherished local custom that another exhibition of volleyball-style takraw was staged to celebrate the kingdom's first constitution in 1933, the year after Thailand abolished absolute monarchy.

In the Philippines the sport was called "sipà" (or "sipà salama" among Muslim Filipinos) and along with traditional martial arts survived the three century Spanish colonisation. It is a popular sport played by children in Philippines. It was the Philippine national sport until it was replaced by arnis in 2009. Sepak Takraw is included in Philippine's elementary and highschool curriculum.
Source: Wikipedia
  1. What does "sepak" mean in Malay?

  2. Where can the origin of "Raga" be traced?

  3. What did the Murals in Bangkok in 1785 depict?

  4. Which is a FALSE statement?

  5. Which is a TRUE statement?


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. What is your traditional sport? How is it played?

  2. Why is it important to be physically active?


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