Argentina has been forged by the different ethnic peoples and immigrants that have settled there. The immigrant peoples that were especially important came from Spain and Italy. So, this great South American country is a blend of American Indians and Europeans. And this makes the culture of Argentina really interesting. The title of Little Europe which is often leveled at Buenos Aires is because of its great European architecture. But how else does this hotch potch of different cultures affect the overall traditions and arts of Argentina?
Argentina and in particular Buenos Aires is very fashion conscious. People on the street like to look smart and fashionable. But unlike other South American countries the people of Argentina like to dress with flair and a little bit flamboyantly. Obviously at weekends and in the fashion season the capital is full of men and women sitting out in the squares and parks enjoying a coffee in all their finery. To be seen and to showcase your attire is highly important.
The Spanish brought their religion to Argentina when they started to invade and colonize the continent. And still today Roman Catholic churches can be seen everywhere. The current pope is actually from Argentina and every Catholic religious day is observed by the churches and many of the citizens.
Food & Drink
The good people of Argentina know how to enjoy themselves, and when it comes to food and drink this is a major part of Argentinian culture. It is a unique cuisine where the traditions and flavors of European cooking meet the exotic ingredients of South America. Unlike many North American cities where the cuisine is made up of a thousand nation’s culinary styles, Argentina has two main influences. The country is famous for raising possibly some of the best cattle in the world, and Argentinian beef is highly prized all over the globe.
The people of Argentina consume more red meat per capita than anywhere else on the planet and a favorite BBQ is the Asado, which is actually the national dish. If you are a vegetarian, then perhaps Argentina is not the best place to visit. As for drink the country produces more wine than any other country outside Europe and is the fifth largest wine producer in the world.
Most Argentinians are direct and tell it as it is. But they are also very warm and friendly towards outsiders. It is very common for friends to have close physical contact with each other. The handshake together with eye contact is the general greeting, but if you are a third party then it is polite to be introduced first. And if dining in a group wait to be shown to your place by the host before sitting. Whilst you are there, always have your hands visible and never put your elbows on the table.
Argentina in some ways is a dichotomy of proper etiquette and laid-back casual friendliness. In general, the people are warm and inviting as long as you respect their traditions and do the sensible and obvious things.