I rarely go to watch movies in Shanghai. Based on previous experiences, I always seem to end up with someone talking on his or her mobile phone at the top of their voice for 20 minutes, or (the last time I went) just two girls who seemed to have gone to the movies not to watch a film but to catch up on some gossip, talking the ENTIRE 90 minutes.
There’s a certain etiquette to follow when going to watch movies or a play or even a sporting event, but many Chinese do not yet seem to have grasped this.
So it was amusing to see Chinese tennis player Li Na completely lose it with the Chinese supporters at the final of the Australian open in Melbourne.
It’s perfectly normal (and dare I say, required) that fans shout out words of encouragement to their player in between points, but unfortunately it seems some of the over-zealous Chinese fans were shouting out during the rallies, which of course can be a distraction.
So in the video clip you can hear Li Na asking the umpire to “tell the Chinese, don’t teach me how to play tennis”.
The match was quite a decent one – the first Chinese ever to make it to a singles grand slam final. I was expecting her to fall flat on her face but Li Na did pretty well, putting up a good fight right up until the middle of the second set.
The other thing which was irritating was the Chinese commentary. Again, there’s nothing wrong with being supportive of the Chinese players as English commentators are when an English player is playing. So there’s nothing wrong with describing a cross court winner as “gorgeous” for example. But to describe an unforced error by the opposing player as “piaoliang” (beautiful) is not only inaccurate, but highly ungracious and inappropriate.
And finally, it would be ungracious of me to not congratulate Kim Clijsters on a terrific performance to become Australian Open champion for 2011. Belgium may have a smaller population than Shanghai, but they certainly produce more than their fair share of world class tennis players!