It’s Football World Cup season and whether you like football or not, it’s a good opportunity to connect with your culture and to get your kids involved.
International competitions like this bring national identity and pride out of people. I usually don’t watch football but international competitions bring the aficionada in me. Just yesterday I found myself listening to a football podcast! Yes, I got a little carried away watching and reading about it but I soon realised it was not the best use of my time!
When Portugal played its first game of the current World Cup 2018 I decided to take the girls to watch it in central London with some friends, to soak up the excitement.
An ice cold Sagres, in an ice cold glass – a favourite of Portuguese people
Funnily enough, we ended up not watching the game at all because it was so busy and there was no space but we had an amazing adventure in the process and, still, the building up to it created some excitement. We got to hang out with other Portuguese friends and talk about the football and other Portuguese related things, in Portuguese. It was all very wild and exciting for the girls, having got temporary tattoos on the train and getting home very late for our them.
Liam, my husband, doesn’t follow football much but when we got home he had Portuguese flags for us which was pretty sweet. It’s definitely not something I would find myself buying but I thought it was thoughtful and it topped up the evening nicely.
To wave the flag or not to wave the flag
Now that Portugal has gone through to the next stage of the competition, the quarterfinals, and that football fever is building up for the teams that remain, we’re going to have some friends together at our place to watch it together. We will have a BBQ, ice cold beer and lupins (tremocos, a Portuguese snack people have with beer in cafes in Portugal).
The flags will come out in all their glory as indoor decoration. It’s important that at the very least the girls know some basic facts about Portugal such as where it is in the map, what the flag looks like (see here how I used the Portuguese flag to start our bilingual journey) and other basic facts.
I’m not a flag waver or wearer, but let’s see how far Portugal gets in the competition…
The influence of school
An interesting observation is that Sophia keeps talking about the England team because that’s what kids talk about in school. I try to get her to cheer for both teams, England in Portugal, but she seems to have a preference, even though she knows little about football.
It goes to show that once they’re in school there’s far less opportunity for exposure to, and influence from the minority language and culture. So if we want your children to be bi or multicultural, it’s best to make the most of the opportunity in the first years of their lives to leave a solid foundation.
May the best team win!