If you’re a fan of the FIFA World Cup, there is no question that you’ve come across the vuvuzela during the 2010 installment of the tournament. However, for those who haven’t, you might want to visit the Interweb to call rescue from the cave you’re possibly trapped in.
You may have noticed how football sets itself apart from other sporting events: they don’t use their hands (apart from the goalkeepers, of course), they don’t take breaks every now and then, and in some instances, they face the constant nightmare of a million pestilent flies. This crazy sound comes from the vuvuzela, a meter-long plastic horn that originated from South African football fans to show their support for their favorite teams, the sport, and contempt for just about anything in this world.
Vuvuzelas have the power to produce sound at 131 dB, which is louder than a jet engine. However, a new and improved model reduces the noise by 20 dB, meaning the vuvuzela is only less loud than a jackhammer.
Vuvuzelas are now made of plastic and limited to a short one meter in length due to the fact that these instruments could be used as weapons.
Religious Implications and Conflict
The Nazareth Baptist Church, a mixture of the Old Testament and the Zulu culture, has begun legal action claiming that the vuvuzela is an element of their religious heritage. These individuals wish to stop the vuvuzela from being blown at football matches.
These so-called abominations have been looked at as instruments that spark hearing loss and are the epitome of spreading communicable disease: all you need is your mouth, relatively capable lungs, a plastic-projection-tube to be one of the most hated persons in the stadium. Even UK football fans are complaining about the noise.
FIFA decided not to go against the claims to ban the vuvuzela from the 2010 World Cup since they opted to avoid Europeanizing the African World Cup. Since the Vuvuzela is too entrenched in the culture of South African to even consider a serious ban, the instrument was there to stay during the entire duration of the tournament. The plastic horns mean too much to the South African people and their culture for FIFA to take away from the fans worked brilliantly.
Ultimately, it was a good decision for the FIFA World Cup organizers to retain the authenticity of South African football tradition. Without these annoying yet strange instruments, the 2010 World Cup wouldn’t be complete.