Mistakes are a fundamental basis of learning

Let’s take a look at some of my different understandings based on the contextual account that introduced the research task in week 5.  From my first initial blog post focusing on the autoethnographic research into native Asian sports, it is clear some perceptions and  my individual thought process have changed based from further research into the understanding of ‘native sports’ and the procedures involved when conducting a successful autoethnography. This involves the reasoning of why native sports are more than just sports in some countries and why mainstreaming these sports might remove all cultural importance. The methodology of my research task will also be altered in the best interests of producing an improved autoethnography.

Throughout the initial blog, the word ‘obscure’ is repeated several times. However it should be said that this term shouldn’t be used loosely in a broad manner. The word shouldn’t be universally attached to these native sports as it is only considered obscure through my culturally different lens. They don’t fall into a category labelled ‘obscure’. They are only considered obscure dependent on that person’s familiarity of the sport and that national culture. A native sport is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation. It is something much beyond materialistic value. These sports connect to a countries tradition. They do not have to be necessarily the most played or most followed sport, rather they are widely considered to be important to the country or significant for its culture.

I would also like to retract my comment about the interests of bringing some of these native sports into the mainstream light – on the main stage of the Olympics.

Original statement: “If the Olympics have room for more esoteric, even dubious events like trampolining, why shouldn’t practices like Mongolia’s bökh, India’s mallakhamb or Malaysia’s sepak takraw be given a shot at the world stage?”

When you globalize a particular sport that holds such a significant value to a nation’s traditional ethos, that sport can risk losing its cultural authenticity. ‘’Traditional and popular culture is increasingly seen as a fruitful raw material for the development of events. Existing celebrations are extended and repackaged, and new ‘traditions’ are created to develop tourism demand.’’ –  Greg Richards [1]

Imagine replicating the Japanese Onbashira festival in other nations on an annual basis. The value of the festival will be lost as will the uniqueness of Japans festival culture.

When looking at my methodology and the processes I have outlined to conduct this autoethnographic study, some changes relating to the timing of my text consumption need to be altered – in order to improve my overall experience and the quality of the product. This means instead of experiencing each sport individually within a few hours, I will extend this time period into a weekly thing, perhaps viewing two sports a week. This allows for more research time and a deeper focus on each individual sport. Autoethnographies are easier said than done. They are a time-consuming, resource-intensive, lengthy procedure and there’s no way around it, so spreading out the level of consumption will no doubt benefit this process. After a while of contemplating to increase the number of sports from 5 to 10+, I have chosen to stick with the original number as their needs to be a fine line between the level of content and quality. Basically, an over emphasis on content – in this case the number of sports chosen to study – the quality has the potential to decrease due to time constraints of the task.

As a whole I am pleased with the sports chosen as they all bring something culturally unique about their particular nation. The more I blog about experiences and how I understand particular cultures, my understanding of the autoethnographic method of research continually improves. This form of reflective writing assists the overall process. Mistakes are a fundamental basis of learning and practice forms the basis of success.

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