Today, the Brazilian team lost their World Cup game.
Americans cannot imagine what that means. You see, it seems to me that the only time Brazilians are really proud to be Brazilians is during the World Cup. On their country's birthday (Sept. 7th), I have never seen anyone wear the Brazil colors or wave the eye-catching flag. Most of the time Brazilians have negative things to say about their country - the crime, the crooked politicians, the bureaucracy...
But when the World Cup comes around, the flags are flying, everyone is sporting the team colors, the city goes wild with green and yellow. During Brazil's games, the city literally comes to a stop. Stores close, schools let out, and everyone gets somewhere to watch the game and cheer for the team.
There is absolutely nothing like it in the US.
But, it seems to me, that Brazil is only patriotic because of their World Cup team. This is sad, because the World Cup happens once every 4 years, and it can be over in an instant - as we observed today. And, it is only a bunch of guys playing a game.
I am here to testify that Brazil has a lot more to be proud of besides their World Cup team.
My original idea was to list all of those things today on this blog post, but I think I would like to expound (is that a word??) a little more on each thing.
So....next week will be "Be Proud, Brazil" week on my blog. Each day I will write about things that I love about Brazil and that I think are reasons to really be proud of this country.
Lots of Brazilians think that the USA is great - and almost like some kind of fantasy-land. Don't get me wrong, I love my country. I am so proud to be an American - for many reasons. But I have known both countries, Brazil and USA, and Brazil has many, many things to be proud of. The US is great, but I think that if more Brazilians had the experience of living in both countries for a long period of time, they would see that the grass is not always as green as we think in the northern hemisphere.
So, here's to Brazil!
PS. To the World Cup team - I will miss you. I absolutely loved watching you play and getting together with my friends to cheer you on. But I am still proud of you. See you here in Brazil in 2014!