Saturday, June 5, 2010

world cup fevah

So I've been trying to think of things to write about other than how busy we are with work and struggling, but just realized what is staring me in the face...the World Cup is starting THIS WEEK. This is a bit crazy to us and the rest of South Africa as it has been the most talked about hyped up thing of the century so far here so people are just a wee bit excited. In addition to the games, the government is sponsoring fan parks in big cities where people can watch the games on big screens. They said that one of the goals of this was to make the games more accessible especially to the people who don't have TVs. Most of the people who don't have TVs don't live in towns so I didn't really understand how this would work, but we found out last week that the municipality is bringing a big screen tv to the high schools in our village as an official viewing point so I guess that answers that.

I'm interested in seeing if the TV announcing will remain the same during the World Cup. During soccer games here, there are usually three or so announcers all speaking different languages. You only hear your language when your announcer is talking and there are no subtitles. On the radio, you can hear a game announced all in one language. I just don't know if all the international guests are going to like listening to the game announced in Zulu and Sotho, but maybe they'll have to deal with it. That's what happens when you visit a country with an amazing language policy like ours.

One of my favorite things about the World Cup mania is that people are constantly quoting advertising slogans...Feel it. It is here. (SABC), Ke nako (also SABC), Bafana kaofela (ABSA bank), Fevah sinayo (E!tv), for example. I don't know how successful these slogans are in actually advertising their brands, but they definitely have become part of the national consciousness when it comes to the World Cup. The other day, we were greeted with one. One of the ladies we work with (complete with rainbow colored wig and Bafana Bafana jersey) said instead of the usual greeting "Can you feel it?" to which we replied "It is here."

So Bafana Bafana is the South African national soccer team. It means "Boys Boys" (and the women's soccer team is Banyana Banyana or "Girls Girls"). People have a hard time getting that most people in American don't know the nickname of Team USA (the Yanks). Most of the Africa national teams have animal mascots, but ours is distinctly (or proudly, to take another popular slogan) South African. The most audible and controversial symbol of South African soccer is the vuvuzela, basically a plastic toy horn that people blow on during games. When I was watching the Confederations Cup on TV it sounded like a very loud swarm of bees was surrounding the stadium, but in real life it's a bit more deafening. Our favorite symbol of South African soccer are makarapas which are hard hats that have been hand cut so that they stick up in the air and painted to express support of your team. If you search for pictures of Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates fans, you should be able to find the full effect. Makarapas, giant glasses, and capes. It's amazing.

Finally, the newest trend in World Cup fevah has come in the form of the diski dance. Basically this is a choreographed dance that has moves that are similar to soccer moves (kicks and stuff). We've tried to learn it a couple of times, but it's really quite complicated. It could never take off like the macarena or something in America because it's pretty complex, but here it's approaching that level of popularity.

Can you feel it? It really is here.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading the description of soccer-mania! Someone in the office went over to the new taco stand on speedway (formerly Greasy Tony's) and it was on the screen. I hope you will add photos of the accoutrements!