So last night I got sucked into watching the Olympic opening ceremony. Several comments I have about it-there were 15,000 performers, that's more people performing in the opening ceremony than there are actual athletes competing...anyone else find this a little strange? I'm not opposed to this, I just find in a little weird that the performers WAY outnumbered the participants.
Now for my real gripe, it's not with the olympics, but with the US announcers. I was embarrassed for them (and our country who they represented), and hoped that no other countries could hear the ethnocentric and narrow-mined announcers who were representing the US with their hellacious commentary. At the beginning they were doing the usual informational stuff: the temperature, number of people in the stadium, etc. Then they stated that everything will be said in three languages, English, French and Chinese. Um, news-flash people...Chinese isn't a language...shouldn't you know this? The announcements were spoken in English, French and Standard Mandarin. Anyone who has ever taken a world cultures class, global history class, or has any knowledge of the most populated country in the world knows that the most common language spoken there is Mandarin, followed by Cantonese and Wu...can't the US find announcers who won't embarrass us on a global scale? It's bad enough when our president opens his big mouth, we don't need any help from sports announcers. Just because it's the name of a country, doesn't mean that's what their language is called-especially in a country with 8 official languages.
AND, could they have been any more ignorant about the costumes from different countries? I mean, personally, I didn't understand the design on the Hungarian dresses, but I would NEVER make negative remarks on national television. As someone who lived in Africa for a while, I was APPALLED at how they made comments about some of the smaller countries who wore traditional outfits out of national or cultural pride. I was infuriated at the statement (paraphrasing here), "They may not be the most represented country, but they definitely are getting noticed with those costumes. [insert judgemental laughter]" The entire purpose is to create a global community and sense of unity...not to degrade other countries, their cultural customs and traditions. Way to go announcers, continue to increase the negative stereotype that the Americans are intolerant and ethnocentric-if it's not our way it's not different it's wrong.