June 26, 2018 04:30 AM NPT
By: DIYA DHAKAL
A house decorated with the flags of World Cup playing nations at New Road, pictured on Monday. Photo: Republica
KATHMANDU, June 26: With the advent of the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia, the hype for this word-class international tournament has burgeoned in Nepal, particularly in the schools. Students, chiefly in primary schools are seen wearing colorful yellow Brazilian jerseys, or blue and white striped Argentinean ones, or else white German and Portuguese jerseys or red colored English or Spanish ones.
Gusingal-based Elsie Kindergarten organizes evening matches by separating kids into various teams on the basis of their World Cup favorites. Teachers also participate in the games, while parents are among the few contented spectators watching their children at play.
Majority are supporters of Argentina followed by Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Portugal. Ronaldo is by far the most popular player among the kids, irrespective of the different nations they support. Four-year-old Shaurya Pratap Rauniyar supports both Brazil and Portugal while his classmate Awanish Maharjan is a fan of Spain.
Another student Manvi Chaudhary, however, is adamant about her judgment. “Argentina will win the tournament despite its shortcomings in the first two matches,” she seemed hopeful although Messi failed to covert penalty or was successful to show his magic this time, adding, “Argentina has Messi after all.” Argentina's first goal was equalized by Alfred Finnbogason in the opening match and it lost 3-0 to Croatia in its second match.
Bijaya Laxmi Maharjan, a teacher at Elsie Kindergarten, said that along with entertaining the students, these sorts' of activities also help broaden their knowledge and vocabulary by familiarizing them with the names of different nations and various commonly used sports terms through commentary. Though the kids aren't able to watch the midnight matches, they enjoy the evening matches with family and friends.
Rupak Memorial International Secondary School has taken a different approach to celebrating the World Cup. Along with the usual trend of wearing jerseys to school, the school has incorporated project works regarding the world cup into the curriculum by conducting project works related to research on the history of the world cup, along with interesting facts related to the tournament till date.
“This will foster research-based skills and public speaking skills in students,” said Dipak Bastakoti, a teacher at RMIS school.
Thirteen-year-old Aashish Karn, a student who is a Portuguese fan, said that majority of the students in his school are Argentina supporters. When asked about his peers' reactions to Argentina's performance in the first two matches, he said that most were disappointed but hadn't lost the hope yet.
The usual trend among students is to choose nations on the basis of their favorite individual players. Neymar Jr, Messi, and Ronaldo are among the most popular ones and a majority of younger kids are only familiar to these three icons. Due to Lionel Messi's failed attempt at a penalty shot against Iceland and Ronaldo's successful one against Spain, there is an inclination for a shift of support among the students.