Posted by: Dad...Guess What?! | May 17, 2011

Baseball versus Culture

I’m very torn.  We’re in a position where we need to really assess our kids’ “time” and figure out how to fully utilize it.  Everyone we know who has kids are involved in some kind of sport.  Well, so are we.  We are involved with judo, soccer, and basketball, but what about the other active stuff?  This past weekend’s Eisa Drum Festival at Kapiolani Community College got me thinking about my culture, and how I’m totally not involved.  

I’m primarily Okinawan, and my grandparents were very proud and active Okinawans.  My grandma danced and played the Koto, and my grandpa assembled and played the Shamisen.  My grandparents did their very best to integrate me into my own culture.  My grandma even took me to Okinawa and introduced me, first hand, to my culture.  It was a cool trip.  For a moment in my life, I felt grounded.  As a side note, I got to watch my good buddy Juhn do a presentation on his Filipino culture and shared this statement that I’ll never forget:

“No History, No Culture.  KNOW History.  KNOW Culture.”

Anyway, I’m yearning to feel grounded again.  And I want my kids to be connected to their culture(s) as well.  Sports are great but it’s not everything.  I heard stories about youth baseball and how it would take up a lot of time, and I’m not too sure if I want that for my kids.  As a child, I played soccer, baseball, and basketball, however, I’m not interested in those things today.  I don’t even watch it on T.V.  But one’s culture never leaves you, you never out grow it, and you can stay actively involved for a very long time.  Know history, know culture.  So after the Eisa Drum Festival, I looked up classes on Taiko Drumming at Kapiolani Community College and noticed a class for families.  I just may have to sign us up.  I’ve observed their classes before and it is a workout and the added bonus is the culture aspect to it.  And it involves drums (no brainer for me).  It is also worth mentioning that my wife was very involved with her Chinese culture so we want them involved in that as well.  Anyway, programs like Taiko (and Kung Fu) teaches culture, teamwork, respect, and humility (among a list of other things).  Good stuff!

I’m learning that I want my kids to know where they came from.  I want them to feel grounded.  And I think knowing history and knowing culture can really lay a solid foundation in their lives.


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