Once you understand the origins of the horns blown at South African soccer matches, you may not find the noise they produce quite as jarring.
- Step 1: Respect the vuvuzela's place in South African soccer culture. But if you ever have the opportunity to hear the horns blown in person, respect your hearing, too, with a good pair of earplugs!
- FACT: According to researchers who studied the noise level at a South African soccer match, the din of vuvuzelas can reach 144 decibels -- as loud as a jet engine at full throttle, and louder than a NASCAR race, a rock concert, or a jackhammer.
- Step 2: Learn its emotional association with the World Cup: former South African President Nelson Mandela brought a batch of vuvuzelas to Zurich in May 2004 when the International Federation of Football Associations announced that his country had been chosen to host the 2010 World Cup.
- Step 3: Understand the inspiration behind blowing the vuvuzela at soccer games: tribesmen traditionally used a _kudu_ horn to summon neighbors for gatherings.
- Step 4: Know the vuvuzela's origin: It was invented in by a South African toolmaker who noticed that many soccer fans brought homemade tin-can horns to matches.
- TIP: Originally called the Boogie Blast, fans renamed it the vuvuzela -- slang for "pump it up."
- Step 5: Know what a vuvuzela is -- a long plastic horn that plays just one note, B flat.