More expectations on society/culture

Some other interesting tidbits, again mostly drawn from Adams’ book (I should be getting paid for all these free adverts, Fiona…):

Fact #1: BA plays host to the second largest population of Jewish people outside of Israel (after New York City).

Jewish population density by country. Lookit all that red in South America! Interesting.

Who woulda thought? Although this apparently constitutes about 2% of the population, that’s pretty cool. On a depressing note, though, due to the fact that early Argentinean immigrants decimated indigenous populations to an even greater degree than most other Latin American countries, less than 2% of the population today can call themselves indigenous, and very few have indigenous ancestry. So Argentineans’ pride at being the whitest, most European Latin American country is also very sad.

Fact #2: Luckily, Argentineans are more accepting of historically marginalized groups today. It’s the most progressive Latin American country (even, in some ways, more progressive than the US) when it comes to gay rights and liberties, and same sex marriage is legal in BA. Time Out writes that, “anything goes in Buenos Aires, including the genitalia you were born with” — this may explain part of the growing plastic surgery trend? Maybe?

Fact #3: “Argentines, in general, tend to be very well informed on current political and economic affairs and enjoy discussing them in great detail,” writes Adams.

  • What I’m taking away from this: I’m studying politics and economics while I’m there, so this could be excellent, except for the fact that I’ll initially be pretty lost. I’ve done some reading on the Dirty War, the Perons, and the recent political leaders. I expect my host family will probably have some pretty strong opinions about the Peronists because they’re wealthy and therefore probably more conservative. They might prove a nice contrast to my university, which my Argentinean economics teacher this semester described as “Marxist.” So we’ll see how it pans out.
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