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Vuvuzela and some of its many meanings | IMG_9353 | by jikatu
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Vuvuzela and some of its many meanings | IMG_9353

The famous or the infamous vuvuzela during Uruguay - South Korea game. This was the nicest vuvuzela I've seen during my two-week stay in South Africa, and I would have bought it at first sight had I seen one like it!


I must confessed I hated them when back home as watching the games on TV with the background noise produced by the concentrated monotone sound of many acting together was to say the least very annoying.


In South Africa, I must confess as well, my hate vanished. I still went to the games with earplugs, except on my first one that due to the excitement I forgot them! I'm fully aware of the risks and as well I'm an audiophile. But my connection to them changed after my first real experienced game. I even ended up buying one at the end of my trip, though I don't plan to use it. (And by the way, what a great business as the mark up from its cost in China to the selling price for these plastic instruments can go from 10 till 35 fold!... maybe more if one day we see one decorated with Swarovski crystals!).


In the stadium the vuvuzelas didn't sound like on TV. TV never reflected the dynamic range of a vuvuzela's universe. I was at the Ghana - Uruguay game, where a crowd of over 80,000 Ghana supporters confronted just a few hundred Uruguayan devotees that never had the slightest chance for their voice to be heard... until Uruguay's victory produced silence.


The sound was not monotone like on TV. At crucial times it was not the result of aleatory blowing where one could say it would make for a neutral cheering effort. No, it turned suddenly without an orchestra director into a spontaneous real symphony! It had a perfect tempo, and an amazing dynamic range richness. The connection between all of the vuvuzelas blowers was strong, amazingly powerful. Then, I realized, players, African players, must be feeling it in their soul as a true spiritual push. It was not a neutral cheering sound as I thought any longer. It was like the world, the entire world, were behind them.


I don't know how Uruguay pulled this game out. I'm sure the sound with thousands of vuvuzelas at unison must has been more powerful than the 1950 Brazilian Maracana's final game cheering crowd. But now and thinking back, at no time I sensed any of us Uruguayans at Soccer City that day were intimidated a bit. I didn't realize it while there as the emotion of the game did not allow me to rationalize anything, but just feel and feel. But now, I wonder... during all my life, day and day, I was reminded of the Maracana epic, but for my generation and all those that followed it felt as a lost fortune. It is now that I come to grip that the Uruguayan society is implanted with the Maracana DNA gene.




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Taken on June 26, 2010