Fun Facts

1. Random fact: The standard greeting in Argentina is a kiss on one cheek; men kiss women and vice versa, women kiss women, and men kiss men, whether meeting for the very first time or having already seen one another several times in the same day. Note that failing to greet each person in a group with a kiss is considered rude. 

2. Fun fact: The tango originated in brothels in the immigrant ghetto of Buenos Aires in the late 19th century, in what is the present-day harbor of La Boca. Various other folkloric dances popped up in other parts of Argentina, like the foot-stomping, kerchief-swinging chacarera, from the north.

3. The Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) was founded in 1821 and is the largest institution of higher education in the country, a nation with a 96% literacy rate.

4. In Buenos Aires, soccer is religion, and the best-known clubs are River Plate, Boca Juniors, Independiente, Racing Club and San Lorenzo. The nation boasts two World Cup prizes and countless world footie stars. 

5. Avenida 9 de Julio is the widest street in the world at an imposing sixteen lanes. It typically takes at least 2 traffic light rotations to cross.

6. Interesting fact: At 15.2 million, nearly 40% of Argentina`s population of more than 40 million lives in the greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area. The most recent national census took place on October 27, 2010, coinciding with the death of former president Nestor Kirchner, husband of current president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

7. Argentina is one of the leading producers of wines ever since the 16th century and has approximately 1,800 wineries currently. 

8. Argentine Spanish spoken in and around Buenos Aires is distinctly different from that spoken elsewhere in Latin America. Aside from a heavy accent, the language is peppered with lunfardo, a local slang derived from the era of tango. See the "Spanish Spoken Here?" section for examples and and intro to local lingo.

9. Buenos Aires is very unlike most Latin American cities, because there is a very distinct European influence. In fact, 95% of the population is classified as Caucasian!