Another Six Cultural Differences About Argentina

September 19th, 2008 Posted in culture

Written by Shanie

When it comes down to it, people are people. The real differences come from the way the culture has created variations in the way we look at things.

Argentina is an interesting culture because it has the intermixing of European and Latin cultures. Here is another look at some of the interesting aspects to the European/Latin blended culture of this crazy country.

  1. Family is # 1: Time for family is put at the top of the list for the majority of the Argentine culture. It is common to see an elderly person being guided by their grandchild, a young sibling walking hand in hand with an adolescent sibling or a teenager walking arm in arm with their mother or father.
  2. Football (or futbol) is a Close Second: When I say football this means what the United States calls soccer. Football is a national pastime that literally closes down the country during important games. We were driving from Buenos Aires to San Rafael, Mendoza and were able to shave four hours off of our usual time during the 2006 World Cup because there was absolutely no one on the road and all of the police stops were shut down.
  3. Mate is an Acceptable Reason to Take a Break: Mate, the group-oriented tea, is a common reason for a person to stop what they’re doing, relax a little and enjoy conversation with friends and co-workers. In all professions, from the cement worker to the office executive, it is commonplace to see the gourd and thermos, the mate tools of the trade, sitting near-by, waiting to be used.
  4. The Argentines are Passionate: The reason that the elderly, young and rich are fine with swearing is because passion lends itself to passionate words being said. The Argentine people are passionate about everything. Whether it is politics, their favorite football team or if it will snow soon, their opinion is a vibrant and energetic one. Their passion overflows into everything they do, which makes things such as seeing a music concert or football game that much more fun. We were fortunate enough to see Pearl Jam in Buenos Aires a few years ago. The crowds enthusiasm literally brought Eddie to tears and he exclaimed to the crowd after a break “You guys are the best crowd we have ever played for.” I believe he meant it.
  5. The Siesta is Taken Seriously: When it is siesta time, it is siesta time. Everything shuts down. It is a time for family, for relaxing, for doing whatever you find appropriate for the four hours of chill time. Once you become adjusted to the business hours it is a nice thing for quality of life. Important things such as taking time for yourself and family are not suddenly being fit into the fifteen minutes before bed each night.
  6. Plastic Surgery is Common and Acceptable: Argentina has one of the highest per capita rates of experiencing the plastic surgeon’s trance. That is why it is common to see 60-, sometimes 70-year old women (and men), looking as if they are in their twenties from behind. Some of the best surgeons are found in the greater Buenos Aires area. It is so common, in fact, that the major Argentine insurance company, OSDE, offers full coverage of plastic surgery for only an additional $100 to the normal plan.

There are many differences between the cultures of the world but that is what makes traveling so much more exciting. If we were all the same, life would be quite boring, wouldn’t it?

  1. 4 Responses to “Another Six Cultural Differences About Argentina”

  2. By Juan on Feb 25, 2014

    It is such a nice description, every point is exact, thank you for writing this interesting article.

  3. By Sarah on Feb 25, 2014

    I read you description of Argentinian culture, and found it to be spot on. I visited Tucuman, and saw the culture to be just as you described. Thank you for your post!

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