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Nov 8, 2019

One American tradition that I have experienced is Powder Puff. It has a strange name, I know. It is a high school tradition, and is centered around(1) a flag football game played by young women. It has been around since 1930's, and is a fund raiser for charity, or for a high school event, like a dance. It usually takes place in October, before Homecoming which is another, even better known U.S tradition. Now, do you know what 'flag football' is? It has the same rules as American football, but no contact is allowed, and instead of stealing the ball, you try to steal a flag or a belt from the waist of the members of the opposing team. It is fast, nerve wracking(2), and great fun. Even though it is for charity, team members do get very competitive, and things can get a little rough. Penalties are common because it becomes increasingly more difficult to have no contact. In fact, the last Powder Puff I watched seemed more like a rugby match than a girls' flag football game! There were bodies flying, and therefore lots of penalties. High school is the center of social activity for most young people between the ages of 14 and 18 in the States. It is certainly not just a place for academics. Most young people don't go out to bars or nightclubs until they are in their twenties, or at least in college, because the legal drinking age is 21. So socializing, clubs, and fun, generally take place through the high school. That is why, I believe, high school is such a central part of life in a community here, and a time that people reminisce(3) about when they are older. Powder Puff is one of the many traditions in the U.S, one that can leave you with a lot of bruises!

1. 'To be centered around' means to be in the context of, or to have a relationships to (a theme or person).

a. The nativity story is centered around the birth of Christ.

b. Homecoming is centered around ex-students coming back to visit high schools or colleges. 

2. 'Nerve wracking' means it makes you very nervous. 'To wrack' is an uncommon verb which means to destroy, torture, or wreck.

a. Waiting to go on the high speed train was nerve wracking for me.

b. Checking my lottery ticket numbers is always nerve wracking for me!

3. 'To reminisce' is remember fondly or with positive emotions. To look back with nostalgia. 

a. Most people reminisce about their childhoods.

b. When his girlfriend left for college, he reminisced about their summer together.