— ooo —
It’s common knowledge that Palmerias are a team founded by Italians. But what many do not know – or refuse to acknowledge – is that already from the start, the Palestra struck a chord with many different races and cultures due to the common experience of prejudice that the italianinhos (little Italians), also known as carcamanos, shared in their contact with the São Paulo elite in the beginning of the previous century.
Many afro-descendents, who were the first to arrive in São Paulo from the Northeast of Brazil, and other immigrants – not least the Japanese – found joy in uniting under a common symbol and take pride in the triumphs of the team dressed in green and white.
To a certain extent hidden during the last decade or so, this passionate kaleidoscope resurfaced everywhere and in every possible form on 11 July, culminating – as it had to – in a spontaneous celebration of mixed faces, colours and beliefs.
The black Captain, the Argentine Pirate, the Chilean magician, the Commander gaúcho, the hero from Pernambuco, the hillbilly centre-back and even the goalkeeper – a typical italianinho – commemorated the Brazil Cup trophy; the victory by a team where everyone was discredited.
Palmeiras have long ago ceased being solely a club with Italian origins. Palmeiras are a team of national proportions and perhaps because of this, can count a larger number of National Championship titles than any other Brazilian team.
The Palmeiras jersey may be stained with pasta sauce, but it also sustains the sweat and tears of the most diverse of peoples. Congratulations, Palmeiras!