Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday

Kristen says...

I love Super Bowl Sunday.

It's the best.

Really, what's not to like?! There's football, friends, food...awesome!

When I was a kid I always looked forward to Super Bowl Sunday because almost always my family was either invited over to someone's house, or, as we got older and our TV got larger, my parents would invite other people to our house to watch the big game.

I've always really liked my parents' friends, so this was a big treat for me--in fact, I don't ever remember going to one of my friends' houses for the game because I always liked going with my parents...weird, I know. :) But they have a lot of fun, giving prizes for those who guess the scores and who wins, etc. Who wouldn't want to be there?!

Of course, doing what we do, now we end up being out of the country most Super Bowl Sundays (the past 4 years, in fact)...four years ago I was watching a former teammate of my brothers playing for the title from Honduras when we got the call that my Grandmother was quite ill; that was the saddest Super Bowl I remember, but last year was a lot of fun when I got to Skype with my parents and their friends at their yearly event.

This year, however, was particularly interesting. This year I watched the Super Bowl with members of an actual American Football team...in Russia.

Yep, believe it or not, there is an American Football team here in Vladivostok!

And, for lots of fun, they joined us at the Consulate to watch the big game and tell us about their team on Sunday. You can see photos of the event on our Consulate Facebook Page.

Watching arguably one of the most American events with a group of Russians who are passionate about a wholly American game was really interesting...even though most of them didn't speak a lot of Russian, they were really into the game and enjoyed it (even though it was something of a total blowout...).

It also brought into sharp relief the importance of the much discussed (and maligned) Coca Cola ad with "America the Beautiful" sung in many languages:

Sitting there watching the Super Bowl with a group of people whose first language was not English and then hearing one of the songs that best represents our country being sung in a variety of tongues was really poignant for me. And then I got home, and read all the ridiculous backlash.

My Russian is really not great. I studied, yes, but my Russian grammar is abominable and my vocabulary is less than that of a kindergartner...I don't understand the majority of the words that are spoken to me on a daily basis here. Yet, I have lived in this country for over a year and not one time have I been lambasted by a citizen of this country for not "really" speaking Russian. On the contrary, I have received nothing but patience and attempts to communicate on almost every front.

It seems unfair to me to assume that every person in a given country will speak the "mother tongue" of that country...I know people who were born in the US, have lived in the US for their entire lives, and speak with far less English proficiency than some who have recently moved in from other countries. To be so closed minded as to be upset that a song praising the US is sung in different languages is to me, totally and absolutely unforgivable, and against everything the US has stood for.

I love that a major (and worldwide) company would want to create an ad that would include all those who call America home. I thought the ad was a wonderful tribute to the amazing melting pot that the US is. I don't even like Coca Cola (I'm a total Pepsi girl!) and I thought the ad was amazing!

Frankly, I thought this ad was way more offensive:

But that might be because I was watching with a bunch of Russians?



  1. I agree & I love you! :) I, too, wish I could still go to Mom & Dad's Super Bowl parties. Why do they have it on a Sunday night, anyway??

    1. I know, right! It should be Super Bowl Saturday!


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