Argentina is characterized by its great cultural diversity. Because of that, there are hundreds of traditions and customs in our beautiful country. As it is a nation built by immigrants from different nationalities, some of these cultural practices are similar to the ones from other places such as Italy or Spain. However, any person who lives in this country can claim that these practices are very Argentinian.
The Mysterious Mate:Most foreigners are quite intrigued by the Argentinian mate. This infusion is named after the substance with which it is prepared, yerba mate. Some people prefer to drink mate with sugar or honey because they like it sweet. Yet, there are some fundamentalists who think that the true mate should be drunk without sugar! The temperature of the water also varies depending on the person who prepares it. Still, the most important thing is not how to prepare one of these drinks. What makes our mate so special is that we share the moment of drinking with our friends and family. It’s true that some people prefer to drink it when they are alone, but traditionally it is something Argentinians share with their loved ones. It is a great opportunity to sit down and talk, even with strangers. We Argentinians drink mate any time, any place and the experience is even better if we share it with others.
Football: The Country’s Passion :This sport is the most popular one all over the country. Its origin is not Argentinian, but it doesn’t matter: football is in the air here. It is a passion that most people share, no matter their socio-economic situation, age or gender: everyone watches the matches of their beloved clubs. It is very common, then, that cafés and restaurants stream the matches for people to watch them. Some people decide to watch the matches together with their friends or family while eating tasty asado or picada. Some others get stressed out and prefer to just listen to it on the radio. In any case, every Argentinian knows how important this sport is for most of the country.
Enjoy Our Asado: Just like mate, our asado (very similar to the American Barbecue) is one of the most traditional Argentinian food. Because of the excellent quality of Argentinian meat, asado attracts thousands of foreigners every year. The typical way of cooking this meat is with charcoal and wood, which gives the food an exquisite and unique taste. The typical Sunday in Argentina consists in a family or friends talking about their lives and eating cold cuts while waiting for the delicious asado to be ready. Just like with mate, eating this delicious meal is a great way of socializing and sharing a warm moment with those we love.
Empanadas: Another Delicious Creation :Another culinary delight that Argentina has to offer is empanadas, both for baking or for frying. This is also a reason why Argentinians and Uruguayans argue about: who offers the best ones. Empanadas are hand-held enclosed pies with a savory filling. The most common ones are made of tasty meat, onions, olives, eggs and spices, but they can also be made of cheese and ham, chicken or even fish!
Let’s Dance! :Did you know that one of the typical dances of this beautiful country is called Tango? It was born in the city of Buenos aires, more than 200 years ago, though it is still common to see street shows of tango dancers on the streets of some neighborhoods, like San Telmo or La Boca. This type of dancing is sensual and intimate, as it has influences from African and Spanish peoples. Artists such as Carlos Gardel made tango well-known worldwide. Some of his songs, like “Mi Buenos Aires Querido” and “El Día Que Me Quieras” are sung everywhere. Today, there’s even a tango worldcup. A curious fact is that the world champions of 2010 are of Japanese origin. This shows that this fabulous music genre has no frontiers!
Have a nice Siesta: Some of the northern provinces in Argentina are scorching hot during the summer. People in Santiago del Estero, for example, experience almost 45° in January. To avoid the worst hours of heat, people have developed the habit of sleeping a siesta after having lunch. Today, this tradition has spread all over the country! Who doesn’t love to take a short break and rest in a comfortable bed? It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, a siesta is a guilty pleasure everybody should try.
If you visit Argentina, don’t forget to try Dulce de leche! It’s extremely sweet, and its unique flavor cannot be found anywhere. If you try it in alfajores, we are sure you will forever remember this pastry! You may also our Dulce de leche it to spread in on toasts or to eat it with a banana. Yummy!
Football, mate, empanadas: all of these traditions have something in common. We Argentian people are quite sociable, and for us, every opportunity is a nice chance to share great moments with others. Come and try these Argentinian traditions.