The Peruvian Dream is the New American Dream: Being Champions of America again!
On the eve of the U.S. Independence’s Day (my adopted country), the Inca’s land (my native country) is celebrating its newly-obtained identity independence. Yes! The Peruvian Dream of being America’s Champion is about to become reality one more time. It may be a dream, but dreaming makes us human. Day-dreaming may feel more real than it is, but sometimes dreams do come true: Peru is very close to winning the COPA AMERICA (South American’s Soccer League tournament) AGAIN!
America es una fiesta y el Perú está de fiebre
Yes! America (the continent) is having a party and Peru has a fever: A fever for soccer–our national sport. We made it, once again, to the Copa America final after four decades of absence. Peru has not been to a final in the world’s oldest soccer tournament: Copa America since 1975.
My own American Dream and my Dream for Seeing Peru Champion of America again:
Today, in the U.S, on the 4th of July, we commemorate the Declaration of Independence. On July 4th, 1776, the thirteen American Colonies declared that they were no longer subject to the British Crown and were united under one nation, free and independent. The “Land of the Free” has its own contradictions but, stlll, most people in the world keep hold tight to the American Dream: I am one of them. I made my home in a country different from my native country. Now, I am happy to be an American citizen living up to my own American Dream.
My South American Upbringing:
Born and raised in Peru and other South American countries made me understand and appreciate cultural differences. My cosmopolitan upbringing offered me the opportunity to learn about different cultures and a number of languages at an early age. Although I had to deal with a conflict of a belonging identity, I had a happy childhood. I grew up thinking my name was: “Where Are You From?”. Having to live in different countries from an early age not only allowed me to learn about others but also to learn to appreciate my own culture. I realize I missed my native country in spite of my own identity conflicts and complexes.
El Fútbol es una religión:
“Futbol” is the most popular sport not only in Peru but in the entire region. Soccer is what brings us together ( besides food and cerveza, of course.) For us, ”fútbol” is more than a sport, it is a religion. Civil or uncivil religion, but religion nonetheless, and the only one I would ever subscribe to. More than four decades have passed since Peru was in a final for the Commebol: the South American Football Association. Since 1975, two generations of Peruvians grew up hearing our parents, uncles, and grandparents talking about the glory achieved by our national soccer teams. That time of glory, when we were able to touch the sky with our own hands.
¡Perú campeón!: es el grito que repite la afición
Peru the champion: it is the song chanted by all our fútbol fans! Our eldest couldn’t stop talking about the elegance of the Peruvian touch and short passes making of Peruvian futbol music for our eyes. Many Peruvians could only dream of seeing that during our lifetime. And that time has come! We don’t need to just watch old videos and newspapers to be proud of our “Julbol” legacy. We no longer need to refer to our parents’ and uncles’ stories to tell our friends how proud we are of our Peruvian soccer heritage. We are living it now. No need to see old videos from the 70’s on YouTube to celebrate and see our blanquirroja (our national jersey) in a soccer field.
¡La Copa América es peruana!
Formed in 1916, Commebol’s Copa America is the world’s oldest soccer tournament. Being part of this community and, even more, being the champion, contributes greatly to a country’s economy and, also, to its own self-esteem. Not trying to be modest about it, but Peru’s soccer teams have always had that pedigree that only a South American national team can exhibit. El juego bonito (the beautiful game) was always in all Peruvian families’ conversation through the 80’s until now. Our parents, grandparents. and uncles would talk about the elegant Peruvian game of short passes and quimba (grace/charm) when our players touched a soccer ball in the field.
According to most experts,the league of Conmebol qualifiers is not only the most competitive in the world, but making it into the league is also more difficult to achieve than the World Cup itself. Peruvians are still celebrating and will continue to party for another week. It feels great to be a member of the soccer elites again. The most important soccer Clasico (Derby) in Conmebol are: Clásico del Pacífico: Perú-Chile & Clásico del Atlántico: Argentina-Brasil. A new classic has started in South America: El Clásico del Amazonas Perú-Brasil.
¡Volvemos a ser la Tierra del Sol: Perú!
We are again the Land of the Sun, in The Land of The Free! Now all Peru is in party mode and celebrating is own 4th of July before their actual Independence Day at the end of this month. We have recently made it to the world’s top-ten soccer teams. Peru has historically been on the top-twenty in the world.
As they say: Europe invented soccer, and we (South Americans) invented the passion for it. Passion, like dreams, makes us human. We are so happy to be back to the elite of American FUTBOL (the real one 🙂 ). That’s being human. Right? Let’s not forget we are all humans and we need to remember it in the Land Of the Free—especially on Independence Day. Happy 4th of July to both the U.S. and Peru. Remember we are not only the Land of the Free but also the Land of Immigrants: there is nothing more American than being an immigrant!