Firdaus Tarmizi

My Compendium of Childhood Games at School (Part 1)

In Musings on July 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Firstly, props to my sister for giving me the inspiration to write about this through her entry about games we used to play as kids.  You can read her entry here.

Come to think of it, I played quite a lot of games, so I guess I need to break the entries into a few parts.  And keep in mind that most of these games might be related more to boys as opposed to girls, so don’t be mad if “main kawin-kawin” is not listed in this list, as it is totally girly and lame.  Although… I did “main kawin-kawin” with my sister and cousins quite often.

O_O …….

Anyway, on to the list!


1.  Bitom (spelling?)

I am quite sure this is totally a boy-dominated game in primary school.  You can play this game with as many kids as you want, but all of them must know who is in the game with them.  Usually, I will play this with my classmates as I know them all quite well.

The objective of the game is this: you are to whack somebody in the back or on their arms.  Sound simple?  Not really.  The game is on at all times you are at school.  You can only whack somebody when he just sat down or just stood up without saying “Bitom!” loudly for others to hear.  If, for example, you are eating at the canteen and you see somebody who is in the game coming towards you (or sneaking towards you), you have to say “Bitom!” quickly before they whack you.

Kidsfight - from

Kid 1: Woi aku dah cakap la bitom!! Kid 2: Tak dengor pun! *WHACK*


So the best part of the game is trying to sneak on someone, or trying to distract someone who going to stand up or sit down from remembering to say “Bitom!” just so that, yes, you can whack them due to their lapse, and you need to remember who’s in the game and who’s not, all while guarding your own backs from vengeful little fists.

I remembered how hilarity always ensued when, each time we need to stand up to greet the teachers in the classroom, the greetings will be drowned by “Bitom!!!” and “Whack!!” and “Adooii!!!””, because like I said the game is on at ALL times.

Of course, once the teachers knew what was going on, they put a stop to the game.  Or at least, while they are in the class.


2.  Main Cop Tiang.

I’m sure quite a lot of us have played this. At least, those whose school has the roofed walkway.  In googling it, I found this great picture depicting exactly how the game should be played:

main tiang 4 -

The "Main Cop Tiang" Diagram


Somebody actually made a diagram for the game!  How cool is that?  Kudos to the author.

Another game that is simple in concept.  5 players, with 4 at each pole and one in the middle.  The four need to exchange places between them, all the while making sure they are touching the poles.  So, the one in the middle just need to grab one of the poles before the 4 pole guards can complete the exchange.  If he managed to grab the pole, the person last guarding it will have to be the person inside.

One funny thing about the whole thing was how you need to kind of hold the hand of the person you want to exchange the pole with.  So, when girls and boys were playing together, we had to wrap our hands with handkerchief or hold a stick so that there won’t be any direct skin contact.  What a bunch of religiously obedient kids we were then, yes?


End of part 1.

In part 2:  Main bom kapal terbang, Main Bola Popiah (?) and Main Kad Tepuk!

  1. Konda kondi, baling slipar, all the games with rubber erasers, main getah.
    The most ‘terrer’ batu seremban player in my school was actually a guy.

    • Thanks Kat. You actually reminded me of the main getah, in which I did beat the girls at lol

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