Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Cup Fever... Korea Fighting!!!

For the little amount of time we have spent in Korea, it is not hard to recognize that when Koreans are into something, they are ALL IN! They don't do things half way when it comes to the important things in life (according to Koreans): partying, drinking, singing, and cheering for their soccer team! Danny and I got to have a once in a lifetime experience this past weekend when we went to Seoul... we got to see thousands and thousands of people cheering for Korea in the world cup. Above and below you can see that Danny and I with our friends Seth and Anna got all decked out to cheer on Korea as they played Uruguay. The Koreans are known for being insane during the World Cup season so for a month before it even started there were "Red Devil" shirts, horns, and a tatoos everywhere you went. I know, I know, I'm wearing devil horns but let me quote Seth's Korean co teacher and say this... " I like red, but I don't like the devil." ; ) It was fun to really get into the spirit and see how passionate Koreans get about cheering for their country and I really don't know if any other country can cheer for 1 1/2 straight like they can!
My shirt says, "The Shouts of the Reds!" and that is exactly what they can do...shout! They had cheers going at all times and it wasn't hard to get into the spirit. When Korea scored a point, it was like the whole country would shake with all the people jumping up and down. (The week before when people woke up to watch the game at 3:30 in the morning on a Wednesay, let's just say that is was difficult to get sleep that night. Danny and I might as well have watched the game because we knew when Korea scored when we were awoken from our slumber by screams and cheers... I don't see many Americans staying up to cheer at 3:30 am, but in Korea, it was weird if you didn't watch the game!) We saw the game on huge jumbo screens by City hall, basically the center of Seoul, and there were literally devil horns and people in red as far as the eye could see.
It rained basically the whole game but that didn't deter people from staying out! We kept right on cheering!
My favorite thing that night was to see all the little "devils" out to cheer on Korea! Korean kids are officially the cutest kids in the world already, and seeing them with just as much spirit as the adults is an adorable site.
Unfortunately, Korea lost the game that night so we are out of the World Cup. There was definitely an air of sadness in the country that night but one thing I really appreciate about Korea, though, is their sportsmanship. Even if they are disappointed, Koreans have such great attitudes about losing... way better than Americans. They are proud of the effort they put out but they move on when they lose. It is really amazing to see people, especially my high school boys, not let sports or losing frustrate them to no end, but they just applaud each other in true support... it's pretty cool.
Well the night, even though we lost (I say "we" because I am officially a Red Devil now), was great and Danny and I feel really lucky to be able to experience the World Cup in a country that really lives for those soccer games every 4 years. Below is a before and after picture of our experience. We were sad we lost, but mostly our faces in the after picture are more from pure exhaustion. We had been going from 7 am that morning and it was around 1 am when we were finally on our way back to the hotel, so you can say that these little devils were tired.
Well, if you ever want to feel the earth shake below you, come to Korea during the World Cup and you too will be able to be an official Red Devil! The word of the day: dae ha min guk (That is what Korean call Korea) KOREA FIGHTING!!!

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