Curiosities and customs of Argentina

The Tango

More than the Argentine dance, the Tango is the dance of the two cities bordering the Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Its sad and passionate music, born of melodies and rhythms and Afro-Cuban Hispanics and developed around 1880 in the neighborhoods of migrants in Buenos Aires. A daring dance for the time, full of erotic allusions, who represented the vent frustrations for needy and desperate slums of the city. He was confined for decades in these neighborhoods, and it was here that were born many of the most important steps and characteristic of this dance. Since 1900 the tango begins to enter in theaters and coffee and began to take an interest in this dance instrumentalists and directors increasingly educated musically and mainly Italian. Soon the dance was also played by the wealthy classes that inizarono to spread in Europe. Initially he created between the moralists of the scandal so that even Pope Pius X in 1914 wanted to see for yourself what it was. 
dancing masters reinterpreted and adapted the tango for the sophisticated audience of European theaters, this version was to make famous Rudolph Valentino. In the 20's began the golden age of tango with the appearance of so-called Tango Cancion, in which gain value sarcastic and melancholy lyrics at the same time. In the 30s and 40s enters the repertoire of many major orchestras and radio contributes to its widespread use. With the passage of time the tango changes again and evolved up to the present day.
Sensual, deeply intense, tango is for a non-verbal communication between the dancers based on improvisation. It is a free dance choreography by default in comparison with other dances that are based on a basic shape by repeating alternating with some variant.

The Gaucho

The Tramp par excellence of Pampa, is one of the heroic and romantic. In the early seventeenth century, the plains of the River Plate were crossed by cattle and wild horses and without a master, descending from the first animals introduced by settlers and riprodottosi in a completely uncontrolled. The hide was in great demand at that time, so was going to form a kind of horsemen at work at farms preferred to roam the pampas chasing wild cattle that were slaughtered by taking only the fat and skin, roasted and ate the flesh finest leaving the rest to the vultures. These men solitati escaped the authorities and rules so that in 1617 the governor of Santa Fe introduced the rules for hunting wild animals, rules were not respected given the huge demand for leather. Only in the eighteenth century, with the introduction of livestock marking the boundaries of the landed estates and the beginning of a more evolved form and the rational is managed to reduce the phenomenon. Many Gaucho turned into cattle raiders whereas others moved to other lands (now Uruguay) where the hunt was still profitable. It was here that they began to be called by chagadore contempt, then gaudero and finally gaucho. Gradually, the term came to include salaried poor enforcement of farms to look after the cattle.
With the birth of romantic poetry, the gaucho acquired the dimension of a hero and was re-evaluated the image of the knight protagonist of some important pages of the Argentine War of Independence.

Il Mate

Mate is the national drink of Argentina. Such as coffee or tea in Italy to England, the mate is the drink par excellence, a daily ritual spread throughout the population. It is an invigorating infusion based on properly treated leaves of the Yerba Mate plant. Its origins are remote, this plant was consumed in infusion before the Spaniards, following the Jesuits began to cultivate it extensively so that became known as Jesuit tea. The preparation of the mate provides the use of some specific tools; mate, or an appropriate wooden or metal container that is used to prepare the infusion, the bombilla, a kind of metal straw which presents on one side a filter that needs to be immersed nell'infuso, yerba mate, a vessel to heat the water and finally a thermal container for storing hot water for the duration of the drink. After filling of the yerba mate, it is poured over the hot water, which should never boil but just be very hot and then stored in a thermal container; the water must always be paid in the same spot, so dampen only part of the leaves of mate and leave dry elsewhere. At the point where you pour the water you insert the bombilla, which must always maintain the same position. Start drinking those who prepared the mate, sucking infused with bombilla until all the water in the mate. At this point, more water is added, and the mate is passed to the person sitting to the left: those who receive it drinks it all the way and make it to the first, which adds more water and passes it to the third, then the fourth, and so on. The leaves initially let dry, I have a reservation and when the first leaves are now used up (do not release more flavor), they bathe the latter and moving the bombilla to continue drinking. At the end of the yerba mate it will be exploited and all the ritual ends. In practice, in the life of every day, the ritual is simplified for reasons of time but the concept remains. In Argentina, mate is drunk bitter or sweet, add sugar and water or directly in the container.

Calefate Legend

"Those who taste the bittersweet berry Calafate is not slow to feel attracted by the spirit of Patagonia and by the time you stain the lips of bluish juice will not be able to forget this land and will be seized by a sense of nostalgia that will push him to come back".
This belief circulating among the colonists and the travelers of the last century who could not explain how it was possible to live in a hostile land, desolate and barren beaten constantly by strong winds. The origin of the belief is due to the Tehuelche (Patagonian indigenous population) and through the myth justified otherwise incomprehensible natural phenomena such as the return of migratory birds each season and stay through the winter of other species including chingolo and the calandria.
Everything began when a tribe was apprehended from winter while on a hunting trip. There arose the need to return to the village forced stages but the elder scimano slowed the group. As was often the case, it was decided to leave him to his fate after having built a hut with firewood and food for a few days to avoid that his spirit could take revenge on the tribes. Thanks to the knowledge of the magic arts, the scimano survived. In the spring, when they began to return to migratory birds, the scimano, who knew the language of birds, he questioned them and asked them why they had gone off at the start of the cold season. The birds responded that the snow did not allow them to find food for which they had to migrate to more hospitable lands. Then the scimano promised the birds to show a result which also abounded in winter and showed them the berries of the thorny Calafate and pinching some of the hands, crushed by releasing the juice and offering it at all until saziarli. The greediest, precisely the chingolo and calandria, from that day did not abandon even more Patagonia winter.

The Tehuelche

The Patagonians, as they were called by Magellan, or Tehuelche as they called them Jesuit missionaries, populated the low Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego. Hunters semistanziali working with stone, as in the European Neolithic, produced pottery vessels, knew the metal but did not know how to work it. Divided into two main groups, those who occupied the area north and those who occupied the southernmost part, they lived mainly by hunting and moved following the seasonal migrations of animals. Typically they hunted guanacos in spring, hampered by pregnant females, while in summer they chased rheas. The introduction of the horse after 1670, favored a change in many respects, including the cultural. Now the hunt was done on horseback chasing the prey so that it can catch with the bola, two or three stone balls tied together by long wires made from guanaco skin, bola, which was thrown to the birds' feet in the running to immobilize them. The typical house (the toldo) was shaped screen and consisted of two or three files degrading poles on which were supported guanaco skins sewn together. Each tribe consisted of several hundred people, and led by a chief called cacique. Each tribe owned a hunting ground that was defended firmly, often a cause of wars between neighboring tribes. The men were in charge of hunting, horses and war, women were dedicated to transporting water and firewood, food preparation, sewing and dyeing of hides and growth of offspring.


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