All You Need to Know about Argentinean Culture and Traditions

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Tuesday April 26, 2016 - Posted by to Argentina Culture
26Apr
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All You Need to Know about Argentinean Culture and Traditions

Different countries have different traditions and customs. When you are all set up for your Spanish course in Argentina and you don’t want to be the ignorant outsider who doesn’t know anything about the Argentinean culture, continue reading!

If you will be living with an Argentinean host family, your guest mum will definitely be impressed if you are familiar with the following Argentine customs and traditions. And who doesn’t want to make a great first impression?

Customs You Need to Know for your Social Life in Argentina

At your Host Family

  • The standard greeting in Argentina is one kiss on the cheek. Note that everyone does this; women kiss men, men kiss men and women kiss women. Also, it is common to greet people with a kiss on the cheek when you are meeting for the first time.
  • Direct eye contact is appreciated and important. Looking good in the eyes of others is important in Buenos Aires.
  • When leaving you say goodbye to everyone individually (this means: giving another kiss on the cheek to everyone).
  • If you are invited to dinner at an Argentinean home, always bring a small gift for the host, such as a bottle of red wine. Something typical from your home country is also always appreciated.
  • Gifts are opened immediately. Good to know! 🙂
  • Do never give scissors or knives as a gift, as they indicate a desire to sever the relationship.
  • Arrive at least 30 to 45 minutes late to a dinner party. Showing up on time is not the norm.
  • Expect to have dinner around 10 p.m. or later.
  • Pouring wine is beset with many rituals and cultural taboos. If at all possible, avoid pouring wine.

 

The nicest restaurants in the famous Barrio Chino of Buenos Aires

 

With your new Argentine friends

  • When in Buenos Aires, do not head to a club before 1 or 2 a.m., as it will be completely empty. But if you like to be dancing on your own, then it is a great idea.
  • When it comes to tipping, people usually give 10% of the amount of the dining check in restaurants. Doormen, porters and ushers in cinemas usually receive a tip as well.
  • Argentine people – and especially Argentine men – are passionate and sentimental. In addition to this, communication tends to be quite physically so they will often teacher each other (and you) when speaking. Good to know when dating 🙂
  • Avoid confrontation. Argentines do not like publicly admitting they are incorrect. Again: especially men.

 

The nicest restaurants in the famous Barrio Chino of Buenos Aires

 

Important Argentinean Traditions

  • Argentinean Spanish is heavily influenced by the Italian language because of the immigrants that settled in Argentina. You will hear lots of words from the Italian language, as well as people who “sound” like they are speaking Italian because of the intonation. This so-called Lunfardo is the slang of Argentina and it contains about 5,000 words. It is derived from the era of the tango.
  • Soccer is the most popular sport in Argentina and the two favorite teams are arch-enemies: Boca Juniors and River Plate. If your host family in Buenos Aires supports a particular soccer team, than you might want to consider supporting that team as well. Argentinean people are fanatics when it comes to soccer and you don’t want to be the person who started a family feud.
  • The traditional dance of Argentina is the tango. You will see people dancing this in the streets, for example in La Boca, Buenos Aires
  • Meat is the primary Argentinean dish, beef in particular. The Argentinean barbecue is called “asado”, which is beef grilled on an open fire pit. It is delicious and by the time you will get back to your home country, you will have gained some pounds, but hey, at least you had a great time!
  • Mate is the traditional drink of Argentina. It is a herb tea that is commonly shared among family and friends. Whenever mate is offered to you, you should accept it. People express their trust in you when offering you their mate, therefore refusing to drink it will be considered rude. If you really wat to prepare well for your trip to Argentina, watch this “How to Prepare Mate” tutorial by one of the Spanish teachers at our school.

No doubt that with all those tips, you are ready to impress your new Argentine friends and you are an Argentinean culture expert, even before arrival to Buenos Aires.

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