September 27, 2022

Buenos Aires: An invigorating Latin capital with a European heart

8 min read


(CNN) – It is the capital of South America, which is truly significant. As a result of its rich immigrant past and geographical remoteness, below the equator, Buenos Aires is unlike anywhere else in this diverse and beautiful continent.

They do not call it the Paris of the South for no reason. It is a beautiful combination of its magnificent, European-style architecture and its vibrant culture, old world influences and new world energy.

Take a walk on the streets of BA and you can feel it in the air, a passion, a passion, a shore.

Whether you want romantic tango in its football stadiums, wild and crazy passions or modern art in its parks and museums, Buenos Aires is unlike any other city you will ever visit.

Dancing in the streets

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The rise of tango in Buenos Aires began when immigrants in the city began to prepare their own dance.

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At La Boca, the colorful original harbor of Buenos Aires, that atmosphere is inevitable. It is in an area where large numbers of Italian immigrants arrived in the early 20th century, where two of Argentina’s biggest hobbies, soccer and tango, were promoted.

In the shadow of La Bomboneira, the Boca Juniors stadium home where the late Diego Maradona made his name, Tango continues to attract tourists eager to get a closer look at this fiery, romantic dance, and seize the opportunity. He lets her go too.

The rise of tango began when immigrants in La Boca began to prepare their own dance, says dancer and instructor Horacio Goodoway.

“I think people need it.[ed] To achieve something in this life in a new place, “he says of the newcomers who created Argentina’s most famous cultural exports.

“People start dancing because they want to do something with women, you know?” He smiles. “But you can’t dance with women 120 years ago. So you have to practice with men, with men, only with men.”

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Dancer and instructor Horacio Goodoway: Tango is a link between human beings.

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Initially, tango began as a poor man’s dance. Less formal than Waltz and racer from Foxtrot, it didn’t take long for it to become a national and then a global sensation. Once the women started dancing with the men, it was set up in a passionate way and the rest is history.

Yet tango is as much about socializing as it is about romance, which is reflected in the hundreds of melongas throughout the city, where people gather to dance, drink and forget their worries.

But it’s not just social clubs that help make tango bonds. Tango dance is performed wherever there is space – on the street, in the park or at home.

“Tango is like an excuse. [not] Stay alone, “says Godoy.” Living with people. To have friends Girlfriends, boyfriends, everything. Because it’s a connection, a connection between human beings. ”

Tribute to the past

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Recoleta Cemetery: Argentina’s Cemetery

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Tango, along with football, could be one of the life-giving forces in Buenos Aires. But the Argentine capital also pays homage to the dead, perhaps more so in Latin America, thanks to the magnificent Ricolita Cemetery.

It is a cemetery to counter the Pierre Lachis of Paris, with huge tombs and high-rise monuments full of European influences at every turn.

The great and good people of the BA Society spend their last money making monuments in Ricolita to make sure they are never forgotten. But no tomb is more visible here than the tomb of Eva Peron, commonly called Evita.

Evita, from actress to politician to icon, died in 1952 at the age of just 33. Yet his body was initially buried under an alias in Italy for 20 years, so frightened that the symbolic mausoleums in his hometown were in power.

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Eva Peron’s Family Tomb

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“He’s one of the most important figures in our history,” says local historian Camilla Perochina. “In our 20th century history … I think they are one of the most famous Argentines outside our country.”

It is true that only Diego Maradona comes close. Evita’s work has been the subject of intense national debate.

For the generals and elites who made sure that she was actually interfered abroad, her views on socialism were dangerous and she was seen as a pawn in her husband Juan’s political games. Was For those who make it a deity, it remains a strong symbol of progress in a country that has seen its share of struggle over the past 50 years.

Today, his body, along with his blood relatives, lies five meters below the ground in the Duarte family’s tomb. It’s hard to find and hasn’t been signed, but it doesn’t stop thousands from coming here to pay their respects.

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Peron is immortal in this great piece of architecture.

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“We don’t live in the past, but we always talk about the past,” Perochina says. “We always have fights about our past, when we’re at dinner or whatever. About Perun, about revolution, about military dictatorship. So, we talk about the past. I keep talking and the past is very much present in our daily lives. ”

Despite being dead for 70 years, Evita’s presence is still intact, whether in the museum in her honor in the Palermo neighborhood, in the former women’s shelter, acquired in 1948 by her own social foundation. , Or in the Department of Health and Social Development.

Here are two portraits of Ivita. One shows her looking south, towards the poorer and less privileged areas of Buenos Aires, with the smile she was famous for.

Then on the other side of the building, facing the northern suburbs, is the richest, richest part of the city, a separate Eva Peron. Campaigning, hacking, demanding social change.

He is still everything to everyone. A link between the living and the dead, the past and the present. An Argentine who is famous all over the world.

A stern reminder

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Miguel Savage: “Wars are anonymous.”

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If the past is something the Argentines still debate, then perhaps a historical event dominates the debate like nothing: the Falklands War.

The United Kingdom and Argentina have strong and enduring ties. Immigrants from Scotland and Wales in particular made the country their home in the 1900s. The game of polo was brought here by the British and it is a national institution. And the Core Tower in the heart of Buenos Aires, the Torre de los Ingles, is a reminder of how deep the British influence was once.

But hostilities between the two countries escalated into an open conflict in 1982, when the British fought for regaining control of the Falkland Islands, known to Argentines as Los Malvinas. It was a war that pitted Argentines of British descent against the country’s soldiers, whom their forefathers called home. People like Miguel Savage.

Produced by savage Scottish and Irish grandparents, one of whom fought for the British in World War II. In 1982, at the age of 20, he was drafted into the army by Argentina’s then-military government and sent to the front lines.

“I only had one day rifle training and I never thought they would send me,” he says. “So I said to my mother over breakfast this morning, ‘They’re not sending me. I’m not a soldier. A week later, I was going to a pet bank at the foot of Mount Langdon Was one of them

“I kept asking myself, ‘What am I doing here? There should be a professional soldier here, not me.’

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Torre de los Ingleses The Clock Tower is a legacy of British connections.

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The savage was eventually captured and sent back on a British ship, where he said pleasant encounters with British paratroopers brought him home in the anonymity of the war.

“I thought there would be a fight on the ship, but I was surprised to talk to two or three of my fellow recruits from two or three quarters,” he says. “They talked about football. They talked about music, British bands, Genesis, Punk Floyd, Super Trump. And they talked about girls, the talk of 20-year-olds. Kids usually do.

“And he taught me that wars are anonymous. When you engage in face-to-face human exchanges, war becomes impossible.”

The 649 Argentine soldiers killed in the conflict, one of the bloodiest in Argentina’s longest military dictatorship, are remembered at a dedicated shrine in Buenos Aires. About 255 British soldiers also lost their lives. This monument is a clear reminder of how the war still haunts the minds of the locals whose families fought and is still the cornerstone of politics 40 years later.

Out in Estancia

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Argentina has a large herd of Estancia cattle, where they raise their world-famous beef.

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It doesn’t take long to escape the buzz of Buenos Aires and see another side of Argentina, no less important for the national psyche and how the outside world sees this country. An hour’s drive from the city estancias is very long.

These vast farms are where the world-famous gauchos raise cattle for beef, which is one of Argentina’s largest exports. Riding between them on horseback is the best way to realize how epic these places really are, part of a century-old tradition.

For Eva Boelcke, owner of El OmbĂș, Gaucho’s life is personal.

“My grandfather bought the farm in 1934. It’s been in our family ever since. And well, my dad insisted we try to keep it,” she laughs. “Bueno, we had to keep it!”

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Visitors can experience gaucho life at El Ombo Farm.

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After four generations, El OmbĂș caters to its best-selling beef and attracts tourists who want to get a closer look at Estancia’s life. They ride on comfortable, wide pampered plains and see a world that has changed little over the last 100 years.

The gauches helped strengthen the Buenos Aires economy. Today, the meat they produce is still vital to the social life of Argentines, the center of “Asado”.

“Usually when I have friends and we want to be together, they call me and say, ‘Do you want to take a sudo today?'” Says Pablo, Boyle’s son. “Asdo means ‘just come to my house’ or something like that, and we share that moment. It’s very common.”

El Ombo’s stack is legendary and does not disappoint. And in restaurants across the BA, these and other stencil stacks are what keep visitors and locals alike. It is a country and a city of really committed meat eaters.

Estancia is an integral part of Argentine history and life. It may be far from today’s lifestyle, but a visit, even a short distance from the BA, can broaden and deepen the understanding of this great country.

There is an undeniable human warmth for Argentina and an inevitable sense of individuality for Buenos Aires, a city that has a lot of respect for itself, but for good reason.

It’s not just the influence of tango, or history or its gachu culture. It is an inspiring place, full of pride for those who want to share their wealth with the rest of the world. Everyone who casts their eyes upon it, wants a go.



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