Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Celebrating diversity

Tonight is a big night: Germany vs. Spain in the World Cup Semifinals. As I type, Germans are biting their nails, trying not to think too hard about Paul the Octopus's dire prediction. After all, Paul has been right on every game thus far.

One of the wonderful perks of living in a foreign country is that we have met and become friends with people from all over the world. We count among our friends, coworkers, and acquaintances people from the vast majority of the nations who have played in the World Cup. Knowing people from each country makes it easy to cheer for other teams when ours get knocked out of play.

I have been truly amazed by the way the World Cup has brought people together. Unlike the rowdy soccer fans I had come to expect, the fans (at least in Berlin) are watching the games together, children from a variety of nations are playing soccer together, and the nation seems to be celebrating the diversity of their team.

Regardless of the outcome of tonight's game, we, and the people we know, will be cheering during the World Cup finals. Because the beauty of the World Cup is the way it showcases and celebrates the diversity of nations through something common to them all.

Besides, if we're lucky, Paul will be wrong this time. After all, an octopus can only pick the correct mussel so many times in a row.

What is your favorite experience that brought people together and/or celebrated diversity?

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