Tuesday, 29 June 2010

It's Magic!

Football and the World Cup in particular, is no mere sport in Brazil. I know it sounds trivial and predictable but it really goes deeper than that. In the favelas the kids play football almost before they can walk, in the beaches of Zona Sul boys and girls play foot-volley all day long with jaw-dropping dexterity and the never ending national or State leagues are televised seemingly every day.

But the true essence of the World Cup is that it transcends all boundaries, it brings together in collective ecstasy or sorrow the whole of society. "During the World Cup, it is like the Carnaval. It does not matter who you are, where you're from, if you live in a favela or in Ipanema. When Brazil plays we're all the same; we'll cry and laugh and kiss and hug the person next to us and we'll drink together and sing till the morning. It is...magical."

And there's a common, overwhelming optimism -certainty almost- that Brazil will win this Cup again, of course it will, that we'll dance till the next Carnaval and beyond, that we're all the same and all together, we're all equal in our joy. And if it does not happen this year, we'll still be equal in our loss.

It's blatantly obvious that some people are more equal than others and the social gaps are tremendous, but now, this month we have the World Cup and it's like Carnaval, it is magical!