A Morning At The Pool, World Culture In Microcosm - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Opinion

A Morning At The Pool, World Culture In Microcosm

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Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2019 5:05 pm

While watching a friend’s water aerobics class, I was thinking how like our culture in general.

There was a small handful of people who had come to work out, and that they did. They paid attention and did their best to follow the leader’s instructions.

Then, a slightly larger group who did at least some of each exercise.

Then we had the largest group who either did their own exercises, or simply bounced around and visited with each other. I’m sure they felt good about attending a daily water aerobics class, “working out,” and felt good about going to this class as opposed to just going to a café to have a cup or two of coffee with friends.

American life on a small scale.

My mind wandered to a potential water aerobics class with all Japanese participants.

I envisioned quite a different class. One in which everyone studiously followed the leader, no individual variations. No one “marching to their own drummer.”

Excelling is very important to the Japanese and they believe in working hard to do so … as their parents expect at a very young age. Not just a few, but I get the impression that the majority feel this way, and find it worth the work and time to do so.

I think all Chinese participants would have done much the same.

Then, as long as my mind was taking me to different cultures and countries, I considered a water aerobics class with Italians.

I think quite a different scene altogether. I would guess that the instructor would not be heard over the sounds of everyone talking, at the same time. While in Italy, I sometimes would be walking behind a group of Italians, women or men. A garrulous society, full of life and laughter. Even though they were all talking at the same time, I would get the impression that they were enjoying the conversation immensely.

I do believe Hispanic people would be quite similar.

But, I can have that variety in my local Community Center pool as well. If I arrive feeling energetic and determined to get a good workout, I simply go to that end of the pool. Other days, (most days, if I’m to be honest), I head toward the other end of the pool, to share stories and laugh while bouncing around with Glorietta Bay as a backdrop.

A rich and varied world we live in.

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