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Traveling to the World Cup? Be sure to bring ear plugs.

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Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) Two men play 'vuvuzelas' in support of their team, the Jomo Cosmos, as they play the Bidvest Wits at Witwatersrand University stadium in Braamfontaine, South Africa. Listen for the blatting of these plastic horns at World Cup matches.

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Fans attending the 2010 World Cup this year in South Africa, which starts June 11, would be advised to bring ear plugs. That’s because South African fans – and they are many – will spend most of the games tooting on plastic horns called "vuvuzelas."

Modeled on the traditional trumpets carved out of antelope horns, the vuvuzelas have been an institution at South African soccer matches for years, and no matter how many international football (soccer) clubs have complained about them, vuvuzelas have not been banned. Fans and players alike say the horns give them courage during a tough match. And there’s nothing tougher than the World Cup.

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