News / USA

Ethnic and Immigrant New Yorkers Get World Cup Fever

Croatian fans react to being behind late in the opening soccer match of the 2014 World Cup in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York, June 12, 2014.
Croatian fans react to being behind late in the opening soccer match of the 2014 World Cup in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York, June 12, 2014.
Adam Phillips
New York City is home to ethnic and immigrant communities that have a loud and spirited stake in a World Cup victory for their national soccer teams.

During Game One of the FIFA World Cup 2014 Miss Favela, a Brazilian bar in Brooklyn, was packed with Brazilian-Americans and expats rooting for a goal against Croatia. It was not long in coming.

At halftime, Juliana Marcussi smiled approvingly as some countrymen climbed on tables to dance. She said more than mere sport was at work in the revelry.

“It’s sort of a religion for Brazilians. It represents our faith in our country. Even if you are having troubles as we are having right now back there, you still believe in it because it’s part of you,” said Marcussi.

The next day, at Tortilleria Nixtamal, a Mexican restaurant in Queens, waitress Marilyn Estrada was ecstatic that her country had just defeated Cameroon.

"I feel really, really happy because we won our first game in the FIFA World Cup, one-zero, so that's exciting.  It represents Mexico as a strong country. We could win.  We could win this World Cup. We could go all the way," said Nixtamal.

Soon, two Mexican-American friends, Pedro and Diego, were riding a subway “all the way” into Manhattan to watch Spain play the Netherlands, while savoring Mexico’s victory.

”The best moment was when we got that goal, that definite score. Given that we already had some chances and we couldn’t get it in there, and we got the job done.  Luckily, the goalie saved us.  We were about to get scored on, and he flew in the air,” recalled Pedro.

It was beer and bratwurst at Loreley, a Brauhaus-style biergarten, where a mostly German crowd had just watched its national team score yet another goal against Portugal. Cologne-born Michael Momm owns the place and was delighted by this.

"Fantastic. Even better than I expected. Germany is always nervous before we start.  But definitely we are a championship team. We always rise to the occasion," said Momm.

Nicole Weik, a Berliner, sat nearby. She wore a white German football jersey adorned with three stars - one for each World Cup championship win.    

"Right now we are here to get our fourth star. As Germans, we are quivering for each game. We have to watch every game, even though we are on vacation. Deutschland Vor. Noch ein Tor (Go Germany. Get a goal!)," she shouted.

Stephen Gelardi, Nicole’s American husband, seemed similarly "pro-Deutsch."

“In a couple of weeks, when they play the U.S., I will be on the other side of the rooting team. But it’s great to be fans with both teams. It’s little way of building a community for a very short period time - essentially the 90-minute duration of the game; but, everyone is like one family at that time, just enjoying the games,” said Gelardi.

There are dozens of games left to enjoy before the FIFA World Cup 2014 ends in mid-July, yet, given the joy these many national groups in this most international of cities are expressing, a non-partisan might well wish them all success.

You May Like

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs