Argentina is home to incredible street art! Buenos Aires in particular is famous for its extraordinary graffiti.
1. Argentina is the birthplace of the tango
Tango is one of the world’s most iconic forms of dance, and Argentina is its birthplace. The word tango may have come from African term “tangir,” which translates to “play drums.” Beginning in Buenos Aires during the 19th century, thousands of working class European immigrants, former slaves and indigenous Argentinians lived side-by-side bringing with them traditions that eventually culminated into what is known today as tango dance.
Tango became a cornerstone of Argentine culture and an expression of national identity, serving as the main form of entertainment in Buenos Aires and even outside its city limits. By 1920s tango music and dancing had gained global respect; Paris had even experienced it first hand! Although high society looked down upon tango’s music and dancing, well-off sons of porteno oligarchy would introduce their friends and acquaintances to it through socializing sessions slumming and spreading its popularity through well-heeled sons of porteno oligarchy were not shy to introduce their friends and acquaintances to this art form!
As the popularity of tango grew, it spread through different cultures and eventually developed into various distinct styles. Ballroom tango remains relatively close to the ground while Uruguayan and Argentine styles utilize additional vocabulary not found in ballroom dancing such as boleo (allowing momentum to lift one leg off the floor) and gancho (hooking one’s foot around that of their follower).
Tango became increasingly popular in the United States due to its association with Argentina and an increase in immigrant numbers from that country, particularly single men who traveled there seeking fortune so that they could return home and reunite with their families. Tango became an expression of their nostalgia and melancholy for lives left behind them in Argentina.
Argentina and the United States currently enjoy close ties, sharing similar values and interests while their policies frequently overlap – especially since Menem Administration helped open up Argentina’s economy and shift its foreign policy toward Asia. Still, disagreements exist on certain issues between both nations.
2. Argentina is the home of Pato
Pato, Argentina’s national sport, is an unconventional equestrian game similar to polo and basketball that originated during the seventeenth century and traditionally involved using a live duck that was sewn into a leather bag with handles; teams from different villages would gather on opposite sides of the field and race at signal to grab it and run with it away; the winning team would win! Although Pato could be deadly – sometimes leading to severe injury and even the amputation of limbs during matches – church and civil authorities eventually banned its practice altogether.
Nowadays, a ball is used in place of the duck, and players must be adept at riding well on their horses in order to win. Furthermore, skill and finesse are required, with players needing to lasso opponents and cut them free from their saddles as well as offer up pato to rivals in order to win.
Attending a tournament in Argentina is the best way to discover this fascinating sport, though it might seem odd at first. Though the sport involves playing on the Pampas using dead ducks as batons, it provides a fantastic and exhilarating way of spending a day exploring this stunning nation.
Argentina lies at the southern half of South America, bordered by Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. Covering an area of 2,784,400 square kilometers (1 million square miles), Argentina is the eighth-largest nation worldwide and one of Latin America’s most geographically diverse nations; featuring snow-capped Andes to flat pampas and wetlands of Buenos Aires Province; its variety has contributed to over 1,500 species of plants and animals living within its boundaries – as well as vibrant culture and cuisine that make Argentina unique among nations worldwide.
3. Argentina is the country with the highest murder rate in the world
Argentina’s recent history has been marred by a turbulent transition from military dictatorship to democracy and then economic crises, leaving both cities safe. Although Buenos Aires still remains one of Latin America’s safest capital cities, tourists are frequently targeted for petty crime and tourists are often targets themselves of crimes of opportunity such as purse snatching and pickpocketing; crimes with higher poverty rates experience even higher incidents of this nature.
Argentina’s high unemployment rate creates frustration and boredom that may result in violent or property crimes for millions of Argentines living in impoverished areas. Furthermore, political analysts worry about the increased power of its executive branch – many believe its system of checks and balances has become weaker as presidents can bypass Congress more easily to pass laws with force of law without congressional consent.
Although Buenos Aires is safer than many Latin American cities, gangs targeting unaccompanied travelers are common in some neighborhoods. Be particularly wary when walking the bustling streets of Tres de Febrero district – its murder rate doubles that of national average and it sees spikes during summer when tourists are present in large numbers.
Though Peru isn’t often associated with traditional organized crime, corruption in local police forces and an increase in clan-like organizations resembling mafias can still be found throughout Latin America.
To avoid becoming the victim of crime, it’s essential that your belongings stay as close to you at all times. Carry a small bag that contains your camera, money and credit cards at all times – don’t be intimidated to use this bag as an assertive form of self-defence in situations that feel threatened; carry it around your waist while walking, hug it to your belly on public transportation rides and loop it around chairs when sitting at restaurants and cafes.
4. Argentina is the country with the highest percentage of homosexuals
Argentina boasts the highest percentage of homosexuals in South America. Homosexuality is legal there and recent advances on LGBT rights have made notable strides – in 2008 the government passed a law permitting civil unions for gay couples while 2009 became the first Latin American country allowing widowers to collect the pensions of deceased partners – but homophobia still runs rampant throughout society.
Buenos Aires boasts a bustling gay scene, including many bars, clubs and tango halls designated as gay milongas. Additionally, it is home to numerous gay-friendly hotels and vacation rentals; hence its reputation as “the gay capital of South America.” Cordoba, Mendoza and Rosario also boast strong gay communities.
Rural settings present more difficulties for LGBT individuals. Although homosexuality is legal, some forms of discrimination still occur against them there. Furthermore, Catholicism remains strongly influential within rural areas, which may exacerbate these problems further.
Many Argentines hail from European heritages; European immigration contributed significantly to shaping Argentina’s current ethnic composition. Indigenous groups were either forced towards the border or assimilated into society entirely; while mestizos — those with mixed Spanish and indigenous blood — have become the majority.
Though Colombia is home to one of Latin America’s most diverse and vibrant populations, it has not fully embraced its diversity. There have been many racial and cultural conflicts within its borders; these tensions are compounded by economic difficulties and political unrest.
However, numerous high-profile LGBT individuals have made their voices heard in support of the rights of people with different sexual orientations, including tango dancers, soccer players and actresses. The forthcoming Argentine football season will witness its inaugural transgender athlete: Gimnasia de Comodoro player Mara Gomez is currently waiting on an official decision from the Argentine Football Federation as they consider her eligibility to compete openly transgender women’s league competition as an openly transgender woman.