Echt waar, het bestaat: de officiële VUVUZELA WK2010 etiquette

Vuvuzela's bij de openingswedstrijd van nieuwe satdion in Kaapstad

‘The vuvuzela, much like the 1995 Rugby World Cup victory in South Africa, is a unifying force for South Africans.

As Nelson Mandela and Matt – I mean Francois Pienaar – showed us; when we unite behind a common purpose, colour, creed, culture and religion are no longer issues: at that point we are all simply South African.

In the case of the vuvuzela, the common purpose appears to be blowing as loudly as possible into a plastic tube that, when played correctly, sounds like a sheep being “waterboarded” by a particularly enthusiastic US marine.

While there have been some strenuous objections to the instrument and the noise it makes from several international observers and people who can still hear, the fact remains that the vuvuzela will, for a month at least, become South Africa’s national instrument and despite it not producing the most melodic aural sensation, there is nevertheless something magnificent about 40 000 vuvuzelas being blown at once.

Given that most adult locals and probably a number of foreigners (looking for an “authentic” African experience), will have their lips attached to a vuvuzela, it’s time to introduce a few ground rules.

1. Never blow a vuvuzela in an enclosed space. A properly blown vuvuzela has the same effect on the ears as a car bomb exploding next to you. While the noise adds to the primal energy vital to football stadiums everywhere, blowing a vuvuzela in a bus, car, your office, your home, a restaurant, the hospital waiting room and the local pub is not nice for everyone else. Remember, the sound comes out of the end that is pointing away from you, but which is aimed at everyone else. So while your ears may not ache in protest at your strident display of patriotism, everyone else’s will.

2. Blowing a vuvuzela requires a lot of effort. Given the nature of the instrument – wind – quite a lot of sputum accumulates in it after a particularly exciting match; worth bearing in mind if you are:
a. Going to lend your vuvuzela to someone else;
b. Borrowing someone else’s vuvuzela;
c. Planning to perform an emergency tracheotomy.

3. Point 3 follows on closely from Point 2. Unlike Antonio Stradivari’s violin, which should only be used as a violin, the vuvuzela doubles as a drinking funnel – Stradivari must be kicking himself for that oversight. Given Point 2, it is wise to rinse out your vuvuzela before putting it to use in this capacity. Furthermore, as a courtesy to other people, please wash out your vuvuzela before you take it to the next game. Sitting next to someone who not only makes the noise of an inebriated yak, but also smells like one is not anyone’s idea of a good day out.

4. Much like a Stradivari, the vuvuzela is a musical instrument and not a traditional weapon. When tempers fray during a football game, remember; blow the vuvuzela and let the security marshals resolve the fracas.

5. You are not a drum majorette, and even if you are, the vuvuzela is a not a baton.

6. While vuvuzelas will be a dime-a-dozen during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, do not throw yours in a fit of pique. The unfortunate on who your vuvu lands is unlikely to take kindly to a clout on the head and may well ignore Point 4. Having now provided him/her with a weapon, you could struggle to explain the finer points of care for musical instruments while he/she vents his/her displeasure at being brained by yours. .

7. The atmosphere is a vast open space filled with 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, neither of which objects to the sound of your frantic blowing. The Earth is also vast, but in and around football stadiums during the World Cup the Earth is likely to be populated with football fans who may object to having their carefully coiffed hair being blown back by your enthusiasm. In short; blow up, not down.

8. A minimum of 90 minutes of football can be tiring at the best of times, but when coupled with the lung-busting efforts of playing your vuvu, it can be downright exhausting. However, no matter how tired you are and how inviting the shoulder of the person in front of you looks, never, I repeat, never give in to the temptation to rest your vuvuzela on some unsuspecting’s shoulder and then blow vigorously. The sensation doesn’t demand a repeat performance and genuinely feels like someone is trying to hammer a large aubergine into your ear hole.

So when it’s time to learn your new musical instrument (your parents will be so proud), remember these eight rules.’

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