The Richness of Our Community

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Cultural Diversity in Table Tennis

One of the things I appreciate most about table tennis is the exceptional cultural diversity found within the community of our sport. I’ve only been involved in T.T. for about three years and already I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting several hundred people from around the world. Such a juxtaposed assembly of persons is a wonderful aspect of our sport. I’ve never participated in a sport, and here in the States, I’d guess one would be hard pressed to find another (soccer perhaps?), where there was such an abundance of variance in regard to to the athletes’ cultural backgrounds and ethnicity.

Not too long ago I learned that one of the local players at my club actively practiced Zoroastrianism (an ancient religion of Persia with less than 200,000 active adherents) and speaks Avestan (an ancient holy language). As a Religion Major, I was quite surprised and excited to find out this detail about a guy I’ve played with for a few years.

Off the top of my head I’ve had the good fortune of becoming friends with Hungarians, Russians, Philipinos, Iranians, French, Japanese, Canadians, Chinese, several Caribbean folk, one very tall Ugandan, and of course, people from all over the U.S.

I believe this quality of table tennis is one to be celebrated and enjoyed. People from every corner of the Earth are drawn to these 5’x9′ tables to bat around a 40 (or 38) mm ball. Isn’t that great?

So next time your waiting and watching from the bench, ask someone about their homeland, it could be good fun.

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