Wednesday, 7 July 2010

World Cup Fever

It is no secret that Brasilians are into football, and when it comes to the World Cup they show a patriotism and dedication to the sport as none other; in fact a CNN article characterized Brasil as the country "where perhaps the tournament means more than anywhere else." The whole country has World Cup Fever and it shows; shops, businesses, cars and homes proudly display the flag, green and yellow products are available everywhere, from tic tacs to razors, m&m's and more! Not to mention the cheering paraphernalia; hats, wigs, bracelets, sunglasses, nail polish, clappers, buzzing lips, horns and, of course, the vuvuzelas! All to show support for our team.

Now sadly for us, the Cup is over and we must wait another four years for our chance to add to our five World Cup wins (the most that any one country has won in the tournament's history). This is my first time experiencing the World Cup in Brasil and I am by no means a football (or Brasilian culture) expert, but let me share a few stories that illustrate how the World Cup changes our world here...

When Brasil plays, the streets are empty. If you know anything about São Paulo traffic, that is saying a lot! My Portuguese teacher said that when Brasil plays, you could lie spread-eagle on "main street" and not be touched. We live on a pretty busy street and here is the view during a Brasil game (yes, I diverted my attention for a minute to snap a pic!) Just don't go out in the hour before the game; everyone is scrambling to get home to watch it!

When Brasil plays, everything shuts down; banks, stores, businesses. Some employers let their employees go home early, or they show the game on a big screen at work. No matter how you cut it, no one is working during the game! The McD's across the street from us closed it's gates and we could hear the employees cheering as the game progressed. Here is a photo of a sign at the local supermarket which says, "Dear Customers, during the hours of the games of Brasil in the Cup, this store will remain closed. We are together, cheering for our team. After the game, we will open as usual. Thank you for understanding. Next game: Brasil x Portugal, Friday 25/06/10 at 11:00am".

During the Cup, you can start a conversation with a perfect stranger with the words, "It's 1:1" and they will know exactly what you are talking about; the game that is currently on. Last week David and I went to tour the hospital where I will be delivering our second child in August and were met at the door by two very serious-looking security guys. Later I had to go to the bathroom and David commented that as soon as he mentioned the score of the game that was on at the moment, the security guards relaxed, opened up and they chatted away about the Cup.

As we approach the final we are comforted by the fact that Argentina didn't make it any closer to the finals than we did and we'll watch and cheer someone on, but when the day comes (and it will :)) when Brasil again wins the Cup, there will be dancing in the streets!

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed all of your stories, but nothing brought a smile to my face like the picture of my precious god son! Seriously, how could anyone be THAT cute????


Thanks for stopping by. Comments make me smile!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...