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Cross-cultural shorts 1: who plays soccer?

On Mondays over the next few weeks for something a bit more lighthearted I’ll be posting some very short anecdotes of cross-cultural moments from the last little while. Here’s the first one.

Just before Elliot went on school holidays we were talking about playing soccer and he said, “Girls don’t play football.” It turned out he had heard this at school.

For both Arthur and me, our knee-jerk reaction was ‘this is one step too far!’ Of course we calmed down about it pretty quickly. It might have just been something a kid said in the playground. But it’s funny what pushes you over the edge. We tolerate the school’s education philosophy even though it’s far from what we prefer. We know there’s been corporal punishment, but we’re waiting to see if that bothers him (not so far). But this? That’s a red flag to this feminist family!

Never fear, we’re not going to pull him out of the school on this basis. But we did look up some Bend It Like Beckham clips as soon as we got home, and commentated them with things like, “They’re so fast!” and “You have to be really strong to do that!” and “Isn’t that clever!”


Categories: Tanzania Uncategorized Woman Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

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