Argentine FlagEmbassy of Argentina in Australia

ARGENTINA in BRIEF

People

Gaucho and horse       Restaurant

The ancestors of most Argentineans of today originally came from Spain and Italy, with smaller percentages coming from other European nations and Middle-Eastern countries. The country also has a Jewish population of about 350,000, the fifth-largest in the world, and a similar number of Syrian Lebanese people.

There are some indigenous communities that live in the northeast areas of Argentina and in the Patagonian region.  Argentina has recently received an important intake of immigration from neighbouring countries, mainly Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay.  The immigration from Perú is also significant.

Gaucho is a traditional word meaning country man of South America from Indian and Spanish descent. Till the beginning of this century, there were gauchos in Argentina who spent their days working and riding their horses around the large "estancias"(similar to Australian stations), and looking after cattle that roamed the Pampas.  Gauchos often featured as heroes in last-century poems, stories and folkloric songs.

Food

Like Australians, Argentineans like eating beef and drinking wine.  The most popular way to eat beef is the "asado" (barbecued beef ribs), whereas whole sides of beef or kid may be spit roasted for large gatherings.  Also popular are "empanadas" which are crescent-shaped pies usually filled with meat or corn, and "Locro," a type of stew made with corn, beans, potatoes and peppers.  The national drink is "mate" (pronounced mat-A), a green tea made from the leaves of  “yerba mate”, a national herb.

Clothing

City people dress in garments similar to those worn by Australians.  Rural workers may wear the traditional gaucho clothing: a wide brimmed hat, a poncho, and a loose pair of trousers tucked into boots.

 

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