random non-turkish entry

Istanbul Travel Blog

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So this entry has next-to-nothing to do with Turkish culture, or life in Istanbul, or anything else that should with good conscious be included in this blog.  But I'm going to include it anyway, because one of the great mysteries of the world (ok, that's almost definitely a massive exaggeration) has been revealed to me here in Turkey, and because it's late and I'm too tired to crank out a proper entry.

If you're American, you may or may not be aware that what we refer to as 'the wave' (i.e., what happens in stadiums when the crowd gets a little bored) is known in the rest of the world as 'the Mexican wave'.  If you're not American, you may or not be aware that inside the US, it's not called 'the Mexican wave,' but rather simply 'the wave'.  Now that we're all on the same page:  as long as I've been aware of this fact, I've wondered why outside the US ownership of this crowd favorite is attributed solely to our good neighbors to the south, while in our fair land it belongs to no one in particular (or, maybe more in the American tradition, to everyone).  Just after I arrived in Istanbul, I was watching a football/soccer game, and the 'Mexican wave' came up.  Emre, hardcore football/soccer fan that he is, was finally able to enlighten me as to the cause of the international moniker, or at least provide a pretty logical explanation.  The 1986 World Cup was held in Mexico, and this was the first time the world was truly exposed to 'the wave' in its full glory, both because of the mass popularity of the tournament and because it was widely televised.  Maybe this is just my American cultural imperialism shining through, but I think it has to be an American tradition.  Although I have no concrete knowledge to back it up, I would imagine that football & baseball fans in the US had been doing it for years before Mexico, and that the rest of the world has simply misattributed the origins of what will always be 'the wave' to me to Mexico (although to be quite honest, 'the American wave' doesn't quite have the same ring to it).
Ardent says:
In Australia it is also known as the Mexican wave.
Posted on: Jan 14, 2007
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Istanbul
photo by: Memo