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Argentine customs?

Saint Paul...
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3 posts
14 reviews
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Argentine customs?
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Hola,

I will be studying abroad in Argentina for four months starting this March. I was wondering if there are any Argentine customs I should be aware of (such as kissing people on the cheek and not giving the thumbs up sign). Do you know of any customs or a website which outlines them? Any help is appreciated!

Lucca, Italy
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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14,075 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Argentine customs?
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You only kiss on the right cheek here and not both as in Europe. The thumbs up is a universal sign of positive acknowlegment. You can use it here also.

Jacksonville...
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2. Re: Argentine customs?
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Oh I get kissed on both cheeks too ! Depends on how happy that person is to see you maybe ? lol

I see thumbs up all the time, most recently from the plumber.. he was just thankful I did not beat him over the head with one of his tools..

but I read somewhere that the OK side is not polite.. you know thumb and index finger making an O ... apparently it means something else in some places..

The people here are lovely, friendly and helpful.. and always ready to laugh.

Being polite, saying hello first and thanking them etc... you will be fine ..

WDC
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
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64 reviews
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3. Re: Argentine customs?
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kochx:

If you want more information, you can buy (or find in a library ?) a small paper-back book called:

ARGENTINA: the essential guide to customs & Culture.

culture smart! series - by Robert Hamwee

~MarnieWDC

Derby, Connecticut
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2,240 posts
49 reviews
185 helpful votes
4. Re: Argentine customs?
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Best not to discuss politics, the military dictatoships, the disappeared or the Falkland (Malvinas) war. Sometimes even Evita and Peron get people going. Argentines are very sensitive to these things and sometimes their opinion can fall on one side or the other. Economics is also a sensitive issue. Best you wait to be asked your opinion rather than offering it first.. But I suggest you read a little about their history before you arrive so you can put things in context and have a background in the issues. You will be asked how you like their country. Fortunately you will probably say its great. People in Argentina hate their politicians but love their country. Futbol (Soccer) the safe bet is to say you root for the Argentine national team. The local teams (Boca - River, etc) are another source of contrroversy. It will be a lot of fun and I look forward to you posting your experiences here so other visitors and students can learn from your experience.

Buenos Aires
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1,984 posts
18 reviews
45 helpful votes
5. Re: Argentine customs?
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Hello !

I agree with Scarlett

"Being polite, saying hello first and thanking them etc... you will be fine .."

Saying "Buen dia" when you enter a taxi and "Hasta Luego" or "Chau" when you leave it.

Letting women go before men when entering or passing somewhere.

Smiling and looking at the eyes are wellcome.

IMO, most people here are polite and have good manners.

Cheers

Silvia

Jacksonville...
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18,476 posts
115 reviews
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Silvia, I would say that too, almost everyone is polite here and well mannered, the exceptions are rare.

One of the many things I love about BA :)

Buenos Aires
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512 posts
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Eye contact is important.... conveys sincerity when meeting people, with any exchange of ideas, in celebratory toasts., in the conclusion of an agreement. 8~).

Abilene, Texas
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for Buenos Aires
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7,712 posts
72 reviews
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8. Re: Argentine customs?
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Kissing a woman on the cheek is the norrm.

Men sometimes kiss other men on the cheek, but this is more often reserved for friends.

Eye contact is a good thing in most settings. The exception is for females in night clubs where eye contact can be misinterpreted.

I absolutely agree that saying "buen dia" when entering a taxi is an excellent idea. I think honoring this custom will help reduce the probability of the taxi driver trying to scam you....not only is it polite, it shows you understand local customs and are not just some rube from the States.

Wagging your index finger and making a clicking sound with your tongue to a street vendor who follows you and will not desist...is a firm way of saying NO, I am not interested in your product or in giving you " monedas."

Veritas makes some good points about topics to avoid...but if someone initiates conversations with you about politics or soccer....by all means join in....I have had some spirited and enjoyable conversations on these topics with Taxi drivers and others....

Edited: 11 years ago
9. Re: Argentine customs?

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