Friday, July 2, 2010

The Haitians Love for Brazilians (when it comes to the World Cup)

by today’s Urban Chameleon contributor

The only thing us Haitians like more than Haitians are Haitians but when it comes to the World Cup, we Haitians are all about Brazilians! For example, have you not seen this youtube clip featuring a bar full of Haitians dressed in the Brazilian colors?

To think that Haitians are just passionate fanatics of the Brazilian National
soccer team would be to overlook the innate connection between Brazilians and Haitian people. Both have in common tragic histories and glorified cultures. To be "pou Bresil" (for Brazil) in Haiti is a birthright and a way of life. And so today, as the Brazilians were handed a one-way ticket back to Rio as a result of the Dutch soccer win, Haiti is in mourning. For many Haitians, the Brazilian elimination marks the second "blow" of 2010. Haitian Facebook statuses read:

“First an earthquake, now this. What have we done to deserve such misery?”

Indeed, the start of the World Cup season and the hope that Brazil would win the cup restored a sense of celebration and excitement across Haiti. Amid crumbled homes and tent cities, the misery of the past six months seemed to fade under the roar of "ole, ole, ole!" So what gives? Well, the Haitian fascination with Brazil is hard to explain. Born in the hay days of the Brazilian soccer phenomenon, Pele, I suppose, Haitians' passion for Brazil can probably best be explained simply as a case of "rooting for your own" ... Or the closest thing to it! Without a qualifying National team of their own, Haitians find comfort in rooting for players who look like them, act like them, and grew up in similar circumstances from them. And so even though Haitians don't speak Portuguese, don't dance samba, and don't eat the Brazilian national dish, Feijoada, once Brazil steps on the field, green and yellow run through Haitian veins. Of course this explanation may be too romantic for some to swallow. Fore the skeptics, another answer may go down easier. Haitians are arrogant and they like to win.

Despite today's defeat, Brazil hold 5 world cup titles. Which means that for a middle-aged Haitian, she/he has had 4years worth of bragging rights 5 times over in their lifetime. That's 20 years of getting to tell the whole world that you’re better than them and for us Haitians (who have swallowed so much), that's a dream come true!

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