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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

Mah Jongg

This is another piece on what lights up individual's lives; what gives people satisfaction.

Vicky Lyon is a Mah Jongg influencer.

As one of Vickie's students, I am proud to present this piece on what makes Mah Jongg

meaningful and satisfying for Vickie. She truly has created communities everywhere; all connected to this game. She truly is a Mah Jongg influencer!

Thank you, Vicky!


When talking to a real estate lawyer today whom I have never met, we instantly connected over Mah Jongg. He noticed that below my signature, it says Mah Jongg Influencer. He was so excited to share that his elderly mother still continues to play Mah Jongg at her retirement home. He also shared the memory of not being able to eat the delicious food (jello mold, Tex mix) that was being saved for the weekly MJ game. MJ has continuously given me these types of connections with people over the past ten years that I have been teaching. It allowed me to become a teacher again after retiring from a teaching career in special education. But it also gave me the chance to make so many new friends and be part of a big group. It was a way for me to give to the community since I do not charge any money for the lessons, and to enjoy seeing new enthusiastic players! Recently, I was asked to share my happy moments before Covid. I recalled the last day when life was balanced. It was March 12, 2019 when a group was learning to play at my dining room table while my little baby grandson whom I was taking care of, was asleep in his crib. Life was good. Mah Jongg helped me get through the isolation of COVID. I quickly learned, as thousands of other people did around the world, how to play Mah Jongg online. I was playing all the time, either with friends or by myself. Many nights, at 3 AM, I calmed myself down by playing MJ while trying to secure a delivery of food. I then taught established groups how to use the site, even a 90 year old friend. I progressed to teaching new people how to play using Zoom and then the game site. People were grateful to learn something new while being at home. The best twist to not being able to play MJ in person during Covid, was that I was able to continue playing with my friends during the winter months when I was living out of state. In the past, I missed the weekly game with my friends, but was now able to play and shmooze with them online. I could take MJ and my friends with me. I always explain to new students that it’s not just about the fun and challenge of playing the game, but it’s also the social aspect of making new friends and networking. I hope to influence more people to learn and play the game. If interested in learning MJ online, let me know.

My mom's hands playing Mah Jongg.

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