Photo: Sergey Mikheev/Shutterstock

How to Become an Argentine in 20 Easy Steps

by Laura Bernhein May 4, 2015

1. Show up anywhere you go, from parties to work meetings, with a huge smile. Then start kissing everyone on the cheek.
2. Love or hate la Presidenta. No middle ground here.
3. Drive as if pedestrians are immortal beings that never die from your actions.
4. Don’t be afraid to polemize about everything, from politics to Bailando por un sueño.
5. End those heated debates with a firm “¡Chupate esa mandarina!” (“Suck that tangerine!”) or a “¡Sos un grasa!” (You are pure grease!”).
6. Love Fernet-Cola.

7. Have big emotions and show them! Get involved in a big discussion with the taxi driver, laugh and cry like nobody is watching you and make out with your girlfriend at la plaza at noon.
8. Never use the formal “Usted”, unless you want to be asked if you consider the other person to be as old as a dinosaur.
9. Don’t you dare fart in public. Argentines consider this the most disgusting, improper thing in the world and no amounts of “Excuse me” could fix the inflicted wound.
10. But you do have to learn the hundred meanings of the word pedo.
11. Consider your friends to be family, don’t be afraid of telling them the truth, even if it hurts; hug them and kiss them a lot and simply be the best friend in the world.
12. Cultivate the art of charla, or conversation. El don de la conversación is a true gift Argentines gave to this world. When a good conversation has started the world stops and the mate brings the rest.
13. Share el mate and don’t ever worry about germs.
14. Eat huge amounts of pizza, pasta, and panqueques de dulce de leche and still look fabulous.

15. Don’t make an effort to be politically correct. A fat person can be called Gordito; a redhaired person Colo, and a woman with a big bust Tetas.
16. Be scared to death of mixing wine and watermelon.
17. Learn early on that an Argentine “Si no la gana la empata” (If he doesn’t win he at least ties…).
18. Work to live and don’t live to work.
19. Play hard, love hard. You’ll have time to sleep once you die.
20. Be a natural charmer and act as if you don’t know it. Some people are simply born under a lucky star, you know…

Discover Matador