Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

World Cup and work

Most countries have common symbols of nationalism: a flag, a national anthem or even the victory in a war. In Brazil, several of the symbols we were established after the proclamation of the republic in 1889. In the 50s, Brazil’s president at the time, Juscelino Kubitschek (also called JK, as a reference to John F. Kennedy) worked to established news symbols, as he felt Brazil changed a lot in 50 years, and needed new references. He built a new capital, put several projects in Amazon to work and used something to unite all Brazilians: sports competition, notably soccer.

In the years that followed, soccer became a way to make all Brazilians, from the South to the North, from poor to rich, from black to white, wear the same colors, sing the same songs and have similar feelings towards our national team. During the 60s, Brazil had amazing teams and the best player of all times: Pelé. Our feeling of nationalism became intrinsically linked to soccer competitions and to the national team. Such a tendency is even more evident every 4 years since 1950: the world cup reminds us who we are, showing the world what it means to be from Brazil.

That is why, during every world cup, several holidays happen and no one works at some hours of the day. It is kind of weird to stop working at some days just to watch games, especially in a summer internship. However, if I could define what is the main cultural component of interning in Brazil, soccer would definitely be my answer.