Football in China!

Traditions follow us wherever we go, including China. One of the culture shocks I dealt with was not being able to watch live sports with my friends. China is 12-15 hours ahead of America and many NFL football games I wanted to watch as I slept. So, I was determined to re-create Thanksgiving during my first year in China.

In 2008, during my first year in China, my wife and I invited our students to learn how to play football, we hired a chef to cook some of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes (chicken, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie).

During the meal, we watched a video of our football game and made sure to rewatch this scene over and over in slow motion for some laughs.

Each year after that more and more students and expat teachers got involved and in 2018 we had a football tournament with 4 teams and an amazing Thanksgiving buffet prepared by our faculty and Chinese chefs.

There were a few Sias students who came to love American football. We would meet weekly to through the ball around. There are now 10 adult tackle football teams in China! If flag football becomes an Olympic sport in 2028, I am sure China will make football even more popular!

This video helps you see how determined we are to bring our American Culture to China. Sias’ motto is “Where East Meets West.”

Watch video “Thanksgiving Football in China!

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Aaron Vorbau
Aaron Vorbau
Aaron grew up in the Bay Area, California. His father worked as a pilot for commercial airlines and from a young age, Aaron began traveling globally. While attending Cal Poly (SLO) he volunteered as a youth mentor and currently spends free time serving through CEO Global USA programs. He met Rachael in 2007 shortly after both of them completed their MA degrees and within a year they were married and moved to China. They now have four children who consider Peter Hall faculty housing their “home” even though they are on the road 6+ months of the year outside of China.
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