Social Customs of Argentina

Want to know what to do and what not to do when visiting Argentina? We run you through some of the social customs to help keep you out of trouble and in the local’s good-books.

Before visiting Argentina it is advisable to get acquainted with the social customs of the country. Why? For a few reasons: 1) it is simply polite, 2) it will help you avoid offending anyone and 3) it is a great way of learning a bit more about the country and its people.

Some of the Social Customs of Argentina Include

* Although you may see local people making a kissing noise to attract a waiter, as a foreigner you would not get away with it.

* It is a social custom among friends when greeting people to shake hands and embrace. Women will kiss each other.

* In Argentina people have two surnames; one is their father’s and the other the mother’s. However it is the custom to only use the father’s.

* Argentines don’t care too much about personal space. People tend to stand close to one another. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable don’t back off – you will only be followed.

* Maintaining eye contact is an important social custom.

* You may see people doing a sweeping gesture beginning under the chin and over the hear – this means “I don’t know” or “I don’t care”

* To say hurry up, people will tap their thumb and middle finger together.

* Avoid placing your hands on your hips when speaking to someone.

* It is considered polite to cover your mouth when yawning.

* Never rest your feet on anything people may sit on.

* It is a social custom in Argentina to take a gift to someone’s house if invited for a meal; scotch, champagne, flowers and chocolates are all safe bets. Don’t take wine.

* Don’t pour wine. The whole process has a number of social taboos and unless you understand them you could insult someone. For example, pouring wine backwards into a glass indicates hostility.

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