Our family has embarked on virtual travels to various countries and regions. To explore these countries and their cultures, we have followed along with the festivals, cooked and eaten traditional foods, learned of traditional handicrafts with hands on exploration, along with many activities to immerse ourselves. Chronicled here are some of these activities.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Glimpse of China - Ping Pong: China's National Sport

Photo Credit: Nathan Wind
Although invented in England, Ping Pong has become China's national sport. Also known as table tennis, it is played by more than 300 million Chinese, with approximately 30,000 in formal training. Nearly every school has a ping pong table, and after school programs offer Ping Pong lessons and competitions. Kids who show promise are selected to attend sport schools, with some beginning as young as nine years old, where they practice for six hours a day. Since it became an Olympic sport in 1988, China has won 90% of the gold medals.

Photo Credit: Matt
I thought it would be fun to play Ping Pong ourselves, and bought a simple portable set for our family Christmas gift. Neither of the girls have played before, and I may have played Ping Pong in someone's basement in my childhood (my sister has a memory of us playing), but I don't remember! Our first attempt was a riot of giggles. And luckily, that plastic white ball is so light, it would be hard pressed to cause damage :) We got a fair bit of exercise our first few times since we had to run around chasing the ball - at one point I hit it over the stairwell and we had to retrieve it in the basement, and Elle managed to get it in the ceiling light fixture twice. But we have improved, and are having a lot of fun getting plenty of practice. 


  1. We saw concrete ping pong tables at the parks in China. :)

    1. I thinks its pretty neat - you just never know what might catch on!


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