Each Argentine tradition tells a story about our country’s history and heritage. They point to the rich mixture of Latin American and European culture that forms our back-story. There is no doubt that seeing and experiencing some Argentinian traditions will enhance your visit to our country, and perhaps the affection you might feel for it. Here are just some of the Argentine traditions you have to experience when you are with us.
Watch the Argentine Tango
It is the most obvious place to start in the story of Argentinian traditions. The Argentine Tango is probably the most famous of all of our traditions. It originates from the streets of Buenos Aires in the 19th Century – were African, Caribbean, and European heritage fused to create this new dance. It became a dance craze back then and was considered a moral threat on account of its sensuality. Now, you will be able to see it performed regularly in Buenos Aires – whether that’s on the streets of our capital or in a tango dance hall.
Observe an Asado special Argentinian traditions
From a young age, Argentines are taught the importance of the Asado cooking techniques. The word Asado refers to barbecue techniques and the social event itself. Argentines will learn to understand how to control the heat, what to use to create the heat, and how to treat each cut and type of meat. Since this is a country where meat forms a huge proportion of our diet – these skills are of particular importance. The tradition comes from the Argentine cowboys – or the gauchos – who are held in high esteem. If you go to a Gaucho Party, which is a trip to a real working ranch, you’ll be treated to an Asado or Parilla.
Understand the passion for soccer/football
Argentines are passionate about football. If you’ve witnessed any international soccer championships, then you may have noticed this. The British brought football to Buenos Aires in the 19th Century. The government promoted sports, and football in the 20th Century in an attempt to undermine the appeal of the Tango, which they felt was a morally questionable form of dance! After the sport was promoted, the love of football eventually took hold, and Argentines are enthusiastic supporters of their national team in particular. We are also very proud of the fact one of the best players in the world – Lionel Messi is an Argentine.
Greet with kiss
Argentines are incredibly affectionate people. And although in most Latin American or European countries it is very common to say hello with a kiss, for some cultures this can be strange. It ends up being much weirder when men greet each other with kisses too. But this is one of the special Argentinian Traditions.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your friend, your brother, or a complete stranger. Argentines have this strange way of greeting. Once you arrive in the country, you will realize the effusive way in which they greet each other in Argentina.
Every Argentine in any part of the world carries his Mate, his grass, and his thermos. This drink is indispensable in the lives of Argentines. However, what makes this one of the most unique Argentine customs is the way in which Mate is taken. Although you could take it alone, the common thing is that Mate is shared among friends. Therefore, it is very common to see a group of friends sitting sharing the drink with the same bulb and passing the Mate from hand to hand.
Haggling is not one of the Argentinian traditions. However, if you are buying items in bulk, you might be able to ask for a discount. Remember, others need to make a living too. However, if something is extremely over-priced, buying it will only encourage vendors to overcharge.
Tipping 1-5 pesos at hotels is considered acceptable. For restaurants, a 10% tip is appreciated for good service. In taxis, simply round up your fair or leave a few pieces of change.
Tipping your guide and porter is certainly welcomed, but not required.
Calling all book lovers: every year, Buenos Aires hosts one of the largest book fairs in the world. For three weeks every April, laymen, students and scholars alike can roam isles and isles of books in venues throughout the city, where everything from cookbooks to traditional Spanish literature can be found.