The streets are filled with green and yellow on the days when Brazil plays. Which may seem a bit of an exaggeration, but Brazilian flags are hung in the windows of office buildings, and you see people dressed in the Brazilian soccer uniform.
During the World Cup, it’s not just soccer uniforms on sale at shops and street stalls, but T-shirts, beach sandals, bandanas, hats, caps, and even manicures in the colors of the Brazilian national flag (green, yellow, and blue). Some people watch matches with the flag draped over their back.
Everyone, children and adults alike, watches the matches that the Brazilian team plays, including people who are not normally interested in soccer, as well as the soccer fans. People glue their eyes to the TV screen for the duration, so they don’t miss out on seeing a superb goal by a player. And when the Brazilian team scores, everyone erupts as one, shouting out “Gol!!!”, blowing their bugles, and letting off firecrackers. Interestingly, once the match is over, everyone comments on things like the moves the players made and the decisions the coaches made, just like experts.
People watch matches as though their life depended on it, so watching it alone at home would be a shame. Instead, people enjoy watching matches together with as many people as possible. Bars and cafes set up big TV screens so customers can drink and eat while they watch the matches. Families with children invite friends over and watch the matches together. Of course drinks, snacks, pop corn, sandwiches, pizza, and so on are provided.
And something surprising also happens on match days.
On days when the Brazilian team plays, schools change the time for students to go home and companies take a break while matches are on, either leaving early or taking half the day off, so that everyone can watch the match. On the directions of the central bank, some banks also change their hours. The Brazilian attitude to soccer truly is amazing.
The next World Cup will be held in Russia, and the time difference between Brazil (Brasilia) and Russia (Moscow) is 6 hours. Kickoff times for the 3 preliminary group matches will be 3:00 in the afternoon here (2 matches) and 9:00 in the morning (1 match), so they will of course affect business hours. There will be a rush of people going home about 2 or 3 hours before each match, then just before the match starts, the streets will become ghostly quiet.
So, I wonder how well the Brazilian team will play at the coming World Cup. I am really looking forward to it.
Boa sorte, Brasil! （”Good luck, Brazil!”）