Argentina the Odd

mateEvery country has some form of strange custom or ritual, but Argentina, in South America is one country that is truly odd. Here are a few facts about Argentina that you probably didn’t even want to know:

They take their politics seriously in Argentina, particularly as the country has suffered under a Dictatorship, but between December 2001 and January 2002 the country had five presidents in just one two week period.

The Argentine currency has changed twice since 1985. In 1985, it changed from the peso to the austral. In 1992, the government introduced the Peso Argentino.

The country’s naval vessel, La Fragata Libertad, was impounded in Ghana for two weeks thanks to a hedge fund manager Paul Singer. The country has refused to pay Singer and other investors $US1.4 billion in sovereign debt so he got a Ghanaian court to impound the ‘Libertad,’ which was docked in a Ghanaian port and it was stuck there for months.

Argentina was the first country to adopt fingerprinting as a method of identification. Juan Vucetich, a Croatian-born anthropologist and police officer who immigrated to Argentina in the early 1880s, made the first ever positive identification of a murderer using a bloody fingerprint found at the scene of the crime.

Argentine women go through the maximum number of plastic surgeries in the world, per person. Argentina is perhaps the world’s most looks-conscious country in the world, and more than 30% of its women undergo some form of eating disarray.

Argentina boasts the highest number of psychiatrists per capita of anywhere on earth. Buenos Aires even has its own psychoanalytic district – the appropriately named “Ville Freud”.

Local neighbourhoods produce massive dolls to parade through the streets on New Year’s Eve but in order to fund them locals will close down roads and ask drivers to pay a toll in order to raise money for doll construction.

To show a car is on sale, all you have to do is put a plastic bottle on it. You then write your phone number on the car so that prospective buyers can call you and inquire about the price.

Political parties produce their own beers. The ruling Peronist party started the whole thing, and one of their beers is named after the former first lady Eva Peron. As well, the opposition Radical Party has its own brewery, crafting blonde, red and black varieties named after another president, Hipolito Yrigoyen.

The Rolling Stones have a cult following called ‘Rolingas.’ Thousands of teenagers dress like Mick Jagger and worship the band.

Saying Thank you when someone gives you the national drink Mate means that you don’t want to drink Mate any more.

Pato is the national sport of Argentina. It is a mixture of basketball and polo.

The largest population of Welsh speakers outside of the United Kingdom is in the Chubut Province of Argentina

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