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Soccer is the national sport and occupies a central place in the life of the nation.The entire population is united behind the national combined team, but fans' allegiance is divided among the rival local teams (Peñarol and nacional are the most popular ones).Gauchesco has been preserved in literature, music, and jokes, and is part of the national identity.Along the Brazilian border, a local dialect called portuñol or brasilero is spoken. English has influenced the language of technology and the slang used by young people. The color sky-blue ( celeste ) is a powerful symbol that represents freedom and independence.The Charrúa, a dominant fierce and independent regional First Nation, although annihilated by the Europeans, is imagined to still live in the spirit of the gaucho mestizo and the Uruguayans (who sometimes called themselves "charruas").
It is also the color worn by the national soccer team.The name "Uruguay" is a Guaraní word meaning "river of shellfish," or "river the uru birds come from." Uruguayans have a strong sense of national identity and patriotism.There are no alternative traditions or nationalities within the country. Uruguay is on the southeastern Atlantic coast of the Southern Cone of South America, bordering Argentina to the west and south and Brazil to the north.The original gauchos were an equestrian ethnic group similar to North American cowboys and Ukrainian Cossacks.Cattle and horses introduced by the Spanish in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries multiplied in the grasslands and roamed freely over the land.