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Mahjong Community Spotlight On Amy Le

Updated: May 10, 2022

The Mahjong Party blog aims to highlight the amazing people that love playing mahjong, the relationships that develop, and the vibrant communities they build rooted in a love of mahjong. We hope that the experiences we share instill an understanding that mahjong is more than just a game. Rooted in culture and connectedness, mahjong is as much about togetherness and community as it is about strategy, skill, and speed.

"Some people have poker nights, while others have bunco, but when it comes to games, there’s nothing like mahjong to energize the room.”

In this blog, we want to introduce you to Amy M. Le. Amy was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the US in 1980. She is an award-winning author of Snow in Vietnam and Snow in Seattle. She runs a publishing company, Quill Hawk Publishing, and is the co-founder of The Community Heart Collection.

I first met Amy in an online group where we began chatting about mahjong. She told me a story about her group of friends. The six of them get together and play mahjong regularly and have been doing so for two decades! This is their story.

Amy explained that in the summer of 2000, she and 5 other ladies got together to learn the game of mahjong. Three of them knew each other from university and had always kept in touch via potlucks, and trips to Vancouver BC for food, fun, and shenanigans.

Since that summer, they have supported each other through many difficult times and many great times. They saw each other through breakups, marriages, childrearing, and the loss of loved ones, and also experienced many joys together. They celebrated birthdays and achievements. What keeps them connected are the monthly mahjong parties they share. Amy explains,

“What keeps us together month after month, year after year, are the endless laughter and joy we each experience in the presence of food, storytelling, and sisterhood.”

And, of course, mahjong.

She went on to tell me that even after twenty-two years, they are still as intricately woven today as they were the summer their love of mahjong began - although the fabric of their friendship has become thicker and stronger.

"Despite each of us growing in different ways and advancing in our careers, we still play with quarters, unphased by inflation, happy to be at the mahjong table, with the winner and loser rotating in and out every game."

Each month, one of these women hosts a game at her home and brings out her mahjong set. The children play in the foreground, the husbands blend into the background, and in between are the sounds of click-clack tiles and clucking women.

"When we get together, we wash our tiles, build our walls, then talk over each other until someone pees their pants," Amy giggles. "Inevitably, someone always cracks a rib or pees her pants from all the hilarity as we catch up on what has happened since the previous month."

She goes on to explain that"some people have poker nights, while others have bunco, but when it comes to games, there’s nothing like mahjong to energize the room.”

And I couldn't agree more. When you enter a room where mahjong is being played it's electric. You can hear the chatter, and laughter, and feel the passion. The competition can be heated at times, but when all is said and done, the people you play with are friends for life.

You can connect with Amy Le, and learn about her books and publishing house here:

To learn more about the game of mahjong, check out our other blog posts and connect with us on Facebook at Mahjong Party.

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