Argentina is the second largest country in South America and also the most European country on the South American continent. Argentina is known for the world dance Tango and the Gauchos.
- Language : Official language is Spanish
- Inhabitants : More than 40 million
- Religion : Roman Catholic
- Form of government : Republic
- Currency : Argentine peso
- Time difference : 5 hours earlier in summer, 4 hours earlier in winter
Argentina is the white country of Latin America. It is often forgotten that even today there are approximately 850,000 Indians, divided over 17 tribes. However, this number is decreasing. The Indians of southern Argentina were exterminated in the so-called General Rocas war (1875-1879). The nomadic people Huarpes and Pehuenches are also extinct. Only in the northwest can descendants of the old Inca culture still be found: The Coya Indians . Only in the far northeast, in Misiones and Corrientes, did a cultural exchange and mixture between Spaniards and Guarani Indians occur. In the 19th century, several emigrants from Poland, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland and the East came and left descendants. Until almost 300 years later, until the independence of Spain, in addition to the small group of Creoles , the Spaniards already born in America, a large group of Mestizos , a mixture of whites and Indians, also developed .
Argentina owes its impressive landscape to two past periods in history. The Andes border the country in the far west. Today there are still active volcanoes and earthquakes, indicating that the violent plate is moving, as before. Previously, crystal plates formed a coherent block, which separated in the Mesozoic. This created the large, central deepland of southern South America, the 600-1,000 kilometer wide plain of Gran Chaco and Pampa .
There are different climate zones in Argentina. In the subtropical north the thermometer often reaches 40˚C in summer. Also in Buenos Aires it can reach 35˚C in the summer, with a humidity of up to 80%. While it is only 12˚C in the country at the same time.
Flora and fauna
Argentina’s wildlife offering is as diverse as its landscapes. Nearly a thousand bird species can be found, from the hummingbird, which builds its nest in the gardens of Buenos Aires, to the condor and the albatross near the coasts of Patagonia, which has a wingspan of 3 meters. Lamas and their family, the Vikunjas, live in the Andes. In the north, the Puna area , dwarf shrubs, cacti and other beautiful plants grow at an altitude of 3,000 meters. In Salta it blooms quite a bit because of the many rain showers.
Cartoneros and Piqueteros
The cartoneros, the waste paper collectors on the city streets, are a sign of the impoverishment that the country has suffered as a result of the crisis at the end of 2001. Families of unemployed people, who in better times in most cases belonged to the average income, walk through the streets with their supermarket carts to collect waste paper and cardboard. Radical unemployed people block streets as a protest, resulting in terrible traffic chaos, but in general it is amicable. With the economic boom, the presence of these piqueteros , strikers, decreases.
Argentina’s modern pastoralists, the peones , are also called Gauchos . The actual Gaucho, the Mestizo, who withdrew far away and lived there on feral cattle, who waged wars together with the Indians against the white settlers, only appear in literature. The only romanticized Gaucho is only seen as a criminal cattle thief if he does not join the new order as an appointee. Despite this, many Argentinians identify with the Gaucho as part of the national past.
The inhabitants of the capital are called porteños . They see themselves as world-open, European-style people. The influence of the massive Italian immigration in the early 20th century is particularly noticeable in the language, gestures and improvisation. The people who live in the country in the provinces and other Latin Americans give the porteños an arrogance.
One of the most famous composers Enrique Santos Discépolo thought the Tango was a sad thought that one could dance. This definition comes from the time when the Tango was danced in bars and brothels as foreplay. The dance originated in the port areas of Buenos Aires, in La Boca and San Telmo. However, the roots of Tango have not been explained. It emerged from the Cabanian Habanera , just like the Tango Andaluz, the Candombé and the Milonga, which, like the Tango, is about abandoned love. The Bandoneon, a harmonica also imported from Europe, provided the mood of the Tango. The steps were obscure and the text was often even worse. The Tango only gained social appreciation in Paris in 1907, when the first gramophone records were made there. The Tango conquered the salons in Paris, and another version soon emerged for the bars. Today the Tango is the song of the capital Buenos Aires. Tango is played 24 hours a day on radio stations, on television, during interviews and dance shows.
In Buenos Aires you can learn Tango in many places.