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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Budding Writers -> 
The world’s true global language
    2018-07-04  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

With the World Cup taking place, I am reminded of the influence of football, especially its extension beyond the field, crossing the chalk lines of socio-cultural bounds the way in which no other sport — or language — has the power to do. From the surfing towns of Mexico to the banks along the Egyptian Nile, and from the soccer-crazed metropolises of Korea to the cafes of Ethiopia, football has stamped my passport in every country I visit, providing deeper insight into a culture than any travel book could ever offer.

In 1994 I had the opportunity to attend matches in Los Angeles during the World Cup, which was being hosted in the United States. The stadium where I went to see the games was the Rose Bowl, where a cacophony of colors and languages crowded the seats, mirroring the multicultural beauty which defines the populace of LA. It was my first time watching soccer on an international stage, where I was treated to Gabriel Batistuta vs. Gheorghe Hagi on the field, while in the stands I saw the true power of football and its ability to bridge geographic divides and bring fans from different countries together.

During high school, I remember a family vacation to France, Switzerland and Italy during which I bought some European jerseys: Tottenham from the EPL and Juventus from Serie A. Mesmerized by the history of the colors, crests and numbers, the souvenirs were for an American teenager who had limited overseas exposure to the beautiful game. In Milan, I made my family take me to visit San Siro — the stadium which houses both Intern Milan and AC Milan — even though it was of course closed to the public on a Wednesday morning. Simply staring at the famous spiral staircases was enough for me, entranced by the mysticism which surrounded this place where European Championships were housed and where legends had played.

Years later as a Teaching Fellow in Ethiopia, I was able to partner with Nike Korea to organize a US$50,000 donation on behalf of the U.S. embassy’s education and cultural affairs office. We hosted a “Gender Empowerment Through Sports” initiative whereby we held clinics around the country not only giving out donations of cleats and balls but more importantly, pairing it with messages of empowerment for female youth. In Djibouti as well, we used football as a mechanism for social change, creating opportunity through sport for those who don’t always have economic advantages at their disposal.

Soccer, or football, has been a constant throughout my life, paving the road, regardless of the country I am traveling in. Stuck in a taxi in the notorious traffic of Phnom Penh, I can talk about Messi’s latest heroics to ease the anxiety between the driver and myself.

Similarly, living for two years in Ethiopia without adequate access to electricity, I would pass the hours playing soccer with my students, often times with a ball made from yarn and plastic bags. Yet the differences in our nationalities, cultures, or languages never mattered because of the commonalties found in our love for the sport, something which crosses continents and oceans, arriving this summer in Russia, but forever remaining the world’s game.

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