The Game is Played by Picking to the Right and Pushing to the Left (Article ID 130)
Abstract: Tiles are picked by players in counter-clockwise (to the right) order with the exception of the walls which are pushed out in clockwise (to the left) order.
This playing sequence originated in Asia where all players take turns in a counter-clockwise order and seat-to-Wind assignments given to seat positions. Most Westerners reference the East player and think more in terms of player numbers rather than seat-to-Wind assignments. To Westerners, the seat-to-Wind assignments can be confusing and seem backwards. You can use this mnemonic to remember the ESWN order, “Eat Soup With Nuts.”
Question from a player: What is the order for taking turns?
Answer from the NMJL: “Picking from the Walls goes to the left. PLAY TO THE RIGHT, PICK FROM THE LEFT. ”
Source: Mah Jongg Made Easy 2020 page 11 para. 1
Other answer from the NMJL:
“Everything in mah jongg goes to the right except the wall.”
Source for other answer: National Mah Jongg League Bulletin Q&A (2013) https://www.nationalmahjonggleague.org