Baseball (and Hurling) Season is Upon Us…

Baseball Spring Training
Credit: FoxSports.com

 

Every spring, thousands of Americans head south to Florida and Arizona to warm up. During this time, there is a a secondary factor that starts to creep into the conscious of these “snow birds” – it’s Spring Training and baseball season is upon us.

Baseball is America’s National Pastime. Did you know that it is also the National Pastime in Cuba and Dominican Republic? And wildly popular in Venezuela, Panama, the Netherland Antilles, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and the list goes on (basically all countries represented in the World Baseball Classic).  This got me wondering: What are the declared national pastimes from around the world? Let’s take a look:

Bahamas: Sloop Sailing

Credit: Translate.com
Credit: Translate.com

These vessels are single-masted boats and regattas are held yearly. The most historical race being The National Family Island Regatta. I prefer to view this regatta from the shore with a beverage made from coconut and strawberries.

Brazil: Capoeira

Credit: Translate.com
Credit: Translate.com

This Afro-Brazilian style of martial arts was developed by ancient Brazilians and follows a system similar to Karate by awarding rope belts ranging from Raw to Black. Do not be fooled by the artistry, Mestres can and will subdue you by their movements and then Wah Bam!

Korea Republic: Taekwondo

Credit: Translate.com
Credit: Translate.com

This form of martial arts combines self defense with sport. The sequence in training includes Patterns, Sparring and, well known, Breaking – where boards, bricks, tiles and ice fall victim to the power.

Mexico: Charreria

Credit: Translate.com
Credit: Translate.com

Similar to rodeo, this tradition is born from Spanish influence and passed down from generation to generation – similar to how matadors evolve. I have witnessed this beauty first hand and I can assure you that standing next to a powerful steed and trying to figure out how a 5″3″ charro handles the grace of his horse is astonishing!

Honorable Mentions:

Ireland: Hurling

Credit: Independent.ie
Credit: Independent.ie

This ancient pastime of Ireland has been around for 3,000 years. Think of it as a combination of field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and rugby. This sport truly is the fastest, and most physical, game on grass. I dare any American footballer to try this sport and come out of it thinking that it was easy. Ask former NFL star Dhani Jones.

Finland: Wife Carrying

Credit: metro.co.uk
Credit: metro.co.uk

While Ice Hockey and Formula One are popular year round in Finland, Wife Carrying takes center stage in the summers. This content is self-explanatory: Husband picks up wife, carries her around an obstacle course, explains to understanding wife why this was necessary to do and hopefully lives rest of life in blissful harmony.

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