Lets be honest, I had never ever watched a game of soccer (or football) in my life…that’s before last Friday. Soccer is just not a popular sport in NZ – evidently as we did not even make it through to play in the world cup.
Our sport is of course rugby and we are darn good at that! I did not even know how long a game of soccer was played for. – really I had no idea.
Its hard not to get all caught up in the hype here in Chile. On the days when they are playing you can expect most people to be watching the game. work places are decorated and people are wearing Chilean supportive gear – there are a lot of fanatics here.
At any work place it is expected that for the duration of the game no work will be done, all my English classes were cancelled for the day and don’t bother ordering a pizza unless you want to wait a while.
I absolutely love the spirit of this place around game time.
Even if you are not watching the game you will know exactly when Chile score a goal. The streets erupt with cheers, chants, beeps and whistles. – Yesterday I discovered this can be very helpful, I was eagerly waiting to watch the game and It was 20 mins past the time the game was supposed to start and I thought ok the game must be running late….then I heard the streets erupting with joy – Why is everyone celebrating ???!!!!!….. I soon realized I was on the wrong Chanel!! damn I missed the first goal!
After the match the streets explode with people, People beep their horns, hang out of cars waving the Chilean flag with pride – Plaza Italia seems like the place to be. I would steer clear of trying to drive through the city for a good 3+hours after the game. When Chile celebrate, they celebrate big and I am so thrilled that I have had the opportunity to experience such an event!. Just check out this clip of the celebrations in Rio.
Obviously this is after a win, I am yet to experience the after-math of a loss.
Popular chants for your practice in anticipation for the next game –
Chi chi chi le le le – viva Chile!!! Pronunciation: Chee Lay
Oh lay oh lay oh lay Chi le Chi le
Imagine the celebration if they were to win the cup! 🙂
Cant wait for the next game! Lets go Chile!
Chao for now x