I Remember Making My Own Shuttlecocks
Qiao-Hong Su from Singapore
Drawing by Qiau-Hong Sun
Because I liked to play this kind of game very much, the shuttlecock became my good friend who always accompanied me in the long winter.
In my memory, playing the shuttlecock game was one of my favorite things during my childhood. The shuttlecocks I played were not used for playing badminton game; they were just used for playing by themselves.
My hometown is in northeast China where the winter is very long—almost five to six months. Playing the shuttlecock outside was the main game in the winter. Because I liked to play this kind of game very much, the shuttlecock became my good friend who always accompanied me in the long winter.
How the game was played
Actually, this game was very simple. In a word, it just was played by a person who kicked the shuttlecock with his or her foot (right foot or left foot) and kept it from dropping down on the ground as long as possible. Depending on different interests, the player could kick the shuttlecock with different parts of his or her foot (of course, the player wore shoes—very common shoes). Sometimes we were divided into two teams, and each team had one, two, or more persons. Then we had a match to see which team could keep playing for a long time (usually we counted the number of the kicks). The team that could keep playing much longer would win.
How I made the shuttlecocks
It was easy to make them by hand. At that time, I really didn’t know where I could buy a shuttlecock. Therefore, I always made them by hand and by myself (I didn’t realize that they might be a kind of folk art, so I threw all of them away when I left the primary school). I used chicken feathers to make the shuttlecock. Particularly, I preferred to use cock feathers because of their colors. Sometimes, I also used some thread, which was made of hemp, flax, or some similar things to make the shuttlecock, if I didn’t find chicken feathers.
For the small metal base, I usually chose two or three ancient Chinese coins with a hole in the middle. I just put the chicken feathers into the hole of the base, and then tied them together very well with thread. This, a simple shuttlecock was ready. That was very easy, wasn’t it?
A Russian version from Street Use
Badminton Shuttlecock. Made from Plastic bottle, cloth, elastic band– Gennadii Konychev, Ryazan region, 2000
I took a plastic bottle and cut out something looking more or less like a shuttlecock. These stabilisers are supposed to be the feathers. And to soften the impact I covered the end with soft pieces of material and an elastic band.