That Guy // Feb 25, 2008 at 10:36 am
Also don’t forget the Badminton and Tennis (later post) as universal Asian sports. Even if you’ve never been on a Tennis court you probably have a tennis or badminton racket in your closet if you’re Asian.
Badminton has had a place in Asian lore for over 500 years (16th century). Back then, it was purely a recreational pastime called Hanetsuki(Japan) or Ti Zian Ji (China). These sports greatly differed because the Japanese did not use nets and the Chinese used their feet. However, along with Anime, Purikura, Fortune Cookies, and many other aforementioned topics, badminton has rode the bok choy truck all around the world. Even though badminton originally lacked the net and fancy rackets commercialized today, its impact is seen around the world.
Asians have felt the need to play this seemingly “pansy” sport due to their obvious advantages over other races. These include, but are not limited to:
Height discrepancy: The obvious lack of height enables asians to dive for those kills or smashes with much more ease than their taller European and American counterparts. It also allows for more balance, especially because their centers of gravity (heads) are closer to the ground.
Keen Eyesight: Asians have devoted a fair amount of time focusing their eyes due to widespread myopia. Because most cannot afford spectacles, they must train to be able to “quasi-locate” items much like a bat uses echo-location. Even if they can’t see an object, they can use this “quasi-locution” to guestimate where the item will land. In addition, asians can hit the shuttlecock as hard as possible (up to speeds of 200mph).
Competitive spirit: Asians are naturally competitive, so even something as dull (or exciting) as hitting a feather contraption (shuttlecock) over a net and back is equivalent of any other action sport. This competitive fire has rocketed “the game of badminton,” as it was once called, into absolute prominence in Asia. The only other sport that outshines it at this moment is soccer. Let’s not forget that since their Olympic debuts in 1992, Asians have collectively won 42 of the last 46 olympic medals in badminton.
So why do asians adore badminton? Is it because it’s now the fastest growing racket sport in the world? Is it that their hand-eye coordination is so advanced due to years of squinting? Are asian body types better suited for agility-related sports? Or maybe it’s the fact that both males and females can play the sport without shame. The only thing I can say is…
When was the last time you saw this commercial on television?
Remember that even though these Asian players get their butts handed to them, it’s the stereotype that matters. Around the world, Asians are known for their prowess and cunning in racket sports. The truth is: It’s free publicity and it’s on the biggest stage known to badminton. They wouldn’t have it any other way.
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