Sunday, April 25, 2010

Adventures in Multicultural Living: Deciphering and accessing the language and culture of American sports -

At Eastern Michigan University’s Chinese Week Gala Banquet, 6-year-old Little Brother snuck off with a group of Chinese American high school boys. I laughed when I found them in the lobby watching the Superbowl on TV. The Chinese organizers had scheduled this big gala event in the middle of the Superbowl, but that did not affect turnout because the Chinese participants did not even know about it. Sitting cozily in the middle of those older boys, Little Brother also did not know what he was watching or who was playing, but he learned it was important.

Sports are such an integral part of American culture that many take it for granted that everybody already knows how to play. When I was in eighth grade, the Physical Education teacher did not teach us how to play baseball, she just threw us out there with some bats and balls, and everyone else knew what to do and started playing. I did not even know how to hold the bat, let alone how or when to swing. I was terrified.

When my children started playing soccer in kindergarten, I always went to their practices at the park down the street, with the dog and their younger siblings. However, it was not until six years later that I suddenly realized that I was supposed to be going to their games every week, not their practices. Nobody ever told me. How was I supposed to know? (click on link for more)

Deciphering and accessing the language and culture of American sports -

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