About Argentine culture and customs

When coming to Argentina it is good to know some things about the country so you would be prepared! Of course Argentina is big and in different parts the customs are different but in general with this information you should be safe.

welcomeingWelcoming and saying goodbye: Argentinians welcome each other with a kiss on a cheek, one kiss in the capital and in many provinces like Corrientes people are welcomed with a kiss on both cheeks. It is also used when saying goodbye to somebody. It can feel a bit strange at first but is easy to get used to. When going, for example, a birthday party and there are 13 people there already then it is polite to go and say hello to everybody with a kiss on a cheek, also when leaving. So a lot of kissing 🙂 In official circles people use handshakes as it is more professional, already later when a relationship is established it can be chosen which welcoming way people prefer to use.

fatNicknames: People often call their friends or family members “gordo” (for guys) or “gorda” (for girls), the translation would be “fatty”. It does not mean that they are trying to insult another person, it is used as a pet name and can sound quite sweet. So if somebody calls you “gordo” don’t feel bad, they probably like you!

busiBusiness: When a supervisor explains something and you say just “yes” it may be taken as if you didn’t understood what you were told. So the best way to avoid it just repeat the instructions as a sign that everything was clear. It is a good sign when you look people in the eyes when talking, a confident look is always a positive sign and often people may use a sort of “arrogant” tone but it is not because they are snobby but to appear more serious.

languageLanguage: English is spoken but most of the time people prefer to speak Spanish. It is highly respected even if you don’t know much but if you at least try. It is always to have CV-s and business cards in two languages.

dinenrDinner: Argentine people are very sociable, often people gather for drinks and dinners. Don’t be amazed if you are invited to a dinner at 10pm, often families eat around that time. Often people are relaxed but when invited to an Argentine family dinner it is polite to go dressed up. Women wear dresses and men shirts. To show up on time is not common, being 15 minutes late is OK and a good moment to arrive. It is important to take a present to the hostess, nothing big but something to show you appreciate the invitation. Table manners are important..wait for a toast before drinking, look into the eyes doing so! Fork on the left hand and knife on the right one, take your time when eating and make sure to praise the chef.

asadoFood and drinks: Very common foods are pizza, pasta, empanada and milanesa. You could find those options in most regular restaurants. Asado is Argentine version of a barbecue. Fun grill event with family and friends, in many places it is regularly done every Sunday. Pouring drinks is men’s task in Argentina so if you would like to have a refill it is polite to turn to a male and ask him to serve you more instead of doing it yourself.

footPassionate topics: People discuss a lot about politics, some about sports, almost every person has their favorite football team and it is better not to argue about who is better because Argentinians are very passionate about it.

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