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Posts Tagged ‘Marbles’

CultureGrams: Soccer and Beyond

The U.S. women’s team may have won the World Cup, but here in Colombia (where I’m spending the summer with my family), we’re still recovering from a heartbreaking loss to Argentina via a shoot-out in the final seconds of the America Cup’s quarter-finals. I watched the game at a nearby community center for the cultural experience. Though I’m the furthest thing from a sports fan, I was almost too depressed afterwards to walk home through the suddenly silent streets filled with spectators unable to turn the TV off just yet. I can’t imagine how they felt. And nothing has endeared us to the locals quite as much as the Colombian national team jerseys our kids regularly wear–even if a 6-year-old boy did recently ask me incredulously if what he was seeing was true: your son doesn’t really know how to play soccer? And how old is he? (That my answer was 4 did nothing to lessen his shock.)  In other words, fútbol is a big deal here.

But it’s not the only way that Colombians entertain themselves. Since I’ve been here, I’ve witnessed many other activities, including the classic game of marbles. The kids in this video live outside of the Caribbean city of Santa Marta, near the entrance of Tayrona National Park,  where most of their parents work. Their little neighborhood is composed of about 20 houses, in the center of which is located an open-air pool hall (“No children allowed!”) and enough flat dirt for a serious game of marbles.

Which was eventually interrupted by, you guessed it, a soccer game. Only this time there was a 6-year-old boy patient enough to teach my son how to do a header.

Read about other games and sports Colombians and others play in our World Edition Recreation sections and our Kids Edition Games and Sports sections.