Buenos Aires People:
Who they are?

Buenos Aires People shares with you secrets of Argentinean people, who they are, how they live, their habits, beliefs and traditions so you are ready to meet them and make the friends.

Page 5

A bit about people (Gente)

Buenos Aires is a place where people work for living and not the other way around.

Things are moving at slower pace, you will not be chased out of the restaurant by a waiter putting the bill in front of your nose before you even started your dessert.

Actually it will not happen until you ask for “la quenta”.

You go for coffee to socialize, read newspaper, chat etc…

Similarly you do not go to restaurants to eat but for dining and dining does not have any time limit!

 As they proudly say about themselves – they know how to live enjoying life and embracing what they have.

  • People are affectionate, quite openly expressing their feelings and emotions - be it joy or frustration.

They greet everybody with kisses (including those they meet for the first time), often touching each other when speaking what expresses their general warmness and unreservedness.  The visible proof of their passions and sentimentality are numerous florist kiosks never short of buyers.

Buenos Aires People: Large choice of beautiful and fresh flowers available on every second corner speaks for itself as well as for Argentinean men :-)...

  • Time does not have here the same meaning as in the West confirming once again that there is no absolute time but just a relative one the best described by a word “later”. For example if you are invited for a dinner, arrive rather about half an hour later than on time. You make an appointment with a hairdresser – it does not mean he/she will be there for you at that time…..Do not try to change the way the life goes there… it will be a futile effort.

Buenos Aires: Christmas on the streets of Capital of Argentina;
A modern "Christmas Tree" on the Avenida 9 de Julio (claimed to be the largest street in the world) was only one of very few visible Christmas decorations in the city;

  • Overwhelming majority of shops is closed on Sunday. The real estate business is mostly closed on Saturdays (in some areas may be open till noon) and definitely closed on Sundays! This is the family time, not the business time and to be honest – it is something to admire and may be to learn from them! Here it is evident that the progress cannot be only measured by the GDP growth but also by the level of Happiness and Satisfaction which you can find in family and in general in reach social life within the circle of friends. But for that you need the precious time….
  • Christmas is the biggest holiday in Argentina. Not surprisingly (given their approach to life) the period before Christmas is similar to any other time during the year. There are no visible decorations all over around mainly aiming at forcing you to shop-till-you-drop. During Christmas the city is almost shut-down (although contrary to what I was told - buses are still running and taxis are available). People start to show up on the streets late evening and that is the moment when local “fire-works” begin ….
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Buenos Aires People: Scenes of Nativity including about 50 persons of natural size and numerous animals displayed on the Plaza Mariano Moreno (intersection of Av. De Mayo and Luis Saenz Peña in Buenos Aires). The celebrations ended with the arrival of caravan of Los Reyes Magos (Three Wise Men or simply Three Kings) on January 6th.

  • South and Central America are predominantly Spanish speaking (Brazil is an exception, but thankfully Spanish and Portuguese are quite similar so there is no real language barrier within the southern continent). As a result – do not count on your English nor French too much. Young people may speak English but in general it is a rarity you will face here on a daily basis. To make you feel better try to think about it this way – Spanish is probably the 2nd most used language in the world (by the number of countries using it as an official language). So why not to learn this language instead of waiting for someone else to do the job for you? BTW – Argentineans speak a Spanish dialect called Rioplatense. It has a strong Castilian accent (due to the influence of the first wave of Spanish immigrants from the time of conquest) with an Italian - predominantly Neapolitan influence (largest immigration ethnic group in the last two centuries).
  • It appears that Argentineans are not falling into the trap of “young-and-beautiful” stereotype so much promoted in the Western World. Middle age folks or those “born earlier” do not seem to feel the guilt of being older and “not-so-much” Hollywood-like beauties. They are appreciated for who they are, they have their place and in a dignified way participate in the “city’s life”….
  • Football (soccer) is the biggest passion for Argentinians. Big TV screens in bars endlessly display football games for 25 hours a day. They are very proud of their players and honestly they have reasons for that. It seems that for the last 30 years Diego is the most popular given name probably not only in Argentina (British football fans certainly well remember Diego Maradona’s “golden” goal in 1986 World Cup). In the last few years another Argentinean football star - Lionel Messi (currently playing for FC Barcelona) took the crown for the best world player….
  • Porteños (as proudly call themselves old generations of Argentinians living in Buenos Aires) are certainly quite “distinctive” Argentineans. Given the fact that out of about 40 millions Argentinians almost 1/3 is living in the area of Greater Buenos Aires they definitely set the strong image of lifestyle and culture of the country’s population. But once you leave the city limits heading to the vast interior territory you will find another culture with its most vibrant symbol – Gaucho. This almost mythical personage represents the values and skills necessary for survival in the limitless wilderness of pampas and steppes of southern provinces. This is the place where the values of independence, bravery, loyalty, generosity, and honesty were of utmost importance. The spirit of “Gaucho culture” was highly enhanced by an almost legendary Gaucho Gil (El Gauchito) – the Argentinean Robin Hood from 19th century.

Buenos Aires People: Road-shrine for El Gauchito - revered in Argentina as the Saint and the patron of all travelers.

Along Patagonian roads you may spot several shrines commemorating El Gauchito – today considered as a saint and patron of travelers. Today, traditional gauchos mostly disappeared from the Argentinean landscape (similarly as cowboys vanished from the American West), but the gauchos culture, music and chacarera, chamame or folk dominated dances are all well alive. You may witness its “tourist-oriented” flavor taking a day trip to one of numerous estancias near Buenos Aires.

And let’s see what they have to say about themselves (quoting one Argentinean woman):

.... The single most important quality we have is that we have a very special sense of friendship. We put friends above everything and everyone else. We're proud friends of our friends. We rely on them, and we know they rely on us. And that is possibly the best thing I can tell you about ourselves....

If you want to read more travels tips to prepare yourself for vacation in Argentina then please select one of the following links:

Food and Restaurants     Argentina Facts-Food - (p.1)
Public Transport             Argentina Information-transport - (p.2)
Security & Financial Tips Information on Argentina Security -(p.3)
City of Buenos Aires       Capital of Argentina  - (p.4)

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