Thursday, June 17, 2010

Identity Crisis: Am I Paraguayan?

(PICTURE: The flag of my beloved Paraguay.)

On Tuesday night, The guys and I went to the Italy vs. Paraguay game in Cape Town:

(PICTURE: Devin, Chris and Dave outside Cape Town stadium.)

Chris's father was born and raised in Sicily, making Chris the first generation American in his family. Chris was obviously rooting for Italy in the game. Despite Devin's 100% Italian last name, he's actually only 25% Italian. However, this was more than enough for him to passionately root for Italy.

Despite taking two years of Italian classes, I'm 0% Italian and actually hate the Italian football team more than any other team. If you watch football, you'll most likely agree that no team dives/act/complains more than the Italian squad.

On top of that, I had good reason to root for Paraguay in this game -- I'm part Paraguayan. Okay, that's not true. I have zero Pargauyan blood in my body. However, I do have family in least I thought I did. When my family fled Europe, they went all around the world. You may recall that I once wrote on my blog that I'm named after my great grandmother Bella who actually fled to and lived in Shanghai for some time. Well, some of my other family went to South America.

I told the guys that I had family in Paraguay and they thought it was pretty funny. It was even funnier when a group of Paraguayan people saw me the day of the game and singled me out with a wave and a smile. They could sense pseudo Paraguayan blood. That afternoon I wrote an email to my sister and my cousin Greg asking where in Paraguay our family lived. My sister wrote back first and said something like, "Uh, I think our family lives in Uruguay." Paraguay, Uraguay...simple mistake right?

My cousin Greg -- the king of the August family genealogy -- wrote me back later and confirmed my ignorance. However, he did say that "we may have some family in Paraguay." That means there's still a chance I'm sort of part Paraguayan!!!!

Anyway, Paraguay tied Italy 1-1.