When I was trying to come up with a title for this post there was nothing else in my mind but WTF. I was trying my best to come up with something witty and funny and short that would embody the feeling of the post, but there is nothing in my mind except for a glaring WHAT THE FUCK. That’s it, nothing more.
DH, sent me this link this morning:
I think he secretly enjoys finding weird shit that happens in either Venezuela or Colombia so he can ask me about it and feel like he married some exotic woman from a crazy faraway land.
When I read the article my first reaction was “ew” and laugh hysterically because as surprising and bizarre and unexplainable the situation was, it still completely plausible. Part of me wasn’t really that shocked. What does that say about me and about my people in Colombia? I am not sure.
If you have problems opening the link, let me summarize what the article is about:
Seventeen year old Christopher (DH is surely disappointed by the “regular” name) was gunned down in his neighborhood while he was playing football (soccer for my gringo friends) and his friends, took his body (coffin and all) from the funeral home and “paraded” it to a game in the stadium for the team he rooted for. Christopher belonged to a fan club of the Cucuta Deportivo team known as the Barra del Indio (a “barra” is a group of fans) and it was friends in that group that took him to the game. So his body could witness the victory? Not really since after further research I found out the teams tied and since there was a cadaver in the stadium the score stopped being so important to those who were there.
Interestingly enough the “barras” are not allowed in the stadium because they are the Colombian version of Hooligans. They break shit; they get into fights, shoot people when their team loses, etc. This time, however, the barra was allowed into the stadium. Apparently all they had to do all along to gain entrance was to bring a body.
I can only imagine how the conversation went at the entrance of the stadium…
What explanation can there really be for this? Was it the grief? Was it the last wish of the deceased? Or are my people simply nuts?
I am going to go with a little bit of all three.
I am sure for the average American bringing a body to a stadium is just crazy, hell it sounds crazy to me and I am Colombian! But I guess is the Colombian in me, that isn’t totally taken over by American pragmatism, which can pause for a moment and find the situation almost poetic. When one stops to think about it, if they knew the guy, if the friends knew how much he loved soccer, and he died playing soccer, what a better way to honor his memory than to bring his body to the stadium? I am sure nobody would’ve batted an eye if it had been ashes. I think the most shocking part; the part difficult to get over the part that made me go “ew” is that his whole body, bullet riddled and all, ready to be buried was there, inside that coffin, being carted around by his friends like a Colombian version of a Weekend at Bernies.
What if he had fallen out? Did they stop to think about the consequences? Did they take a moment to consider the logistics of it all? I doubt it. Latin Americans are not really worried about such things. Where was his family? His mother? What were they thinking?
Don’t even get me started on how the sheer tragedy of the death of a seventeen year old is being overlooked because his body being paraded in a stadium makes a better story. Sadly deaths like those are oh so common in that and many other areas of my country.
I guess there is enough Hispanic romanticism and impracticality in me to read the article, and after getting over the shock, find the situation epically poetic.
In the end I am nothing if not pragmatic, not because of my time in the U.S. but because that is my number one personality trait. And the pragmatic part of me, cannot say anything else, but WTF?
Here’s a little video for those inclined to watch it live.