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The Country Of Soccer: when stereotypes start making sense

What spending a year away from home and the world cup made me realize.

The Country Of Soccer: when stereotypes start making sense
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Before I moved to the United States for college, the few friends I had that weren't Brazilian had grown up in Brazil, and so were pretty much immersed in our culture. This is the first World Cup in which I know a significant amount of people who don't particularly care about whether or not Brazil makes it to the finals. Actually, this is the first World Cup in which I know people who don't care who makes it to the finals at all. It took me a while to realize that this was a cultural difference.

Even though I don't really like soccer, I watch all the games in which Brazil plays, and I always wear our colors, if not the soccer jersey itself. Because I, like most of the Brazilian population own a Brazilian soccer jersey. I find out the results of most of the games played, regardless of whether the result can impact Brazil or not. Most of the time, I don't even have to go after the information, because someone makes it a point to tell me.

I think that the Brazilian soccer team has been on the front page cover of the main Brazilian newspapers for most of the days in the last two weeks. Everyone knows the name of at least two Brazilian players, if not more. Whenever there is a game in which Brazil will play, the whole country stops. People get evenings or mornings off from work and school – and this is because Brazil is in an economic crisis, in the last World Cups we used to get whole days off. Today I was coming home from my internship one hour before the game, and there was so much traffic because everyone was doing the same thing. My taxi driver was in a panic that he wouldn't get home in time to watch the game and would have to hear the beginning on the radio.

I always thought that the stereotype that Brazil was the country of soccer was exaggerated, but after seeing how my friends who are doing internships in the US don't get to watch games, or simply how some of them wouldn't choose to watch the games in the first place made me realize that the stereotype is very much right. Even though I didn't have the morning off from my internship to watch the Germany – Korea match, the televisions in the office in which I am working were on with the game all morning, and when Korea scored the first point everyone gave up on working. And this is all because four years ago, Germany eliminated Brazil from the World Cup.

Isn't it curious how to realize something about my own country, in which I lived in for all of my life, I had to leave?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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