5 fun facts about Argentina

Did you know that…

  • The president of the Republic is the godparent of the seventh son born to any family. However, it is the edecán (aide-de-camp) who attends the christening on behalf of the president. It is said that this tradition began in 1907 when a Russian immigrant asked President José Figueroa Alcorta to be the godfather to his seventh son. This man believed that this would reverse the curse of the werewolf, as was commonly believed in Czarist Russia. The Czar has been long gone but the tradition is very much alive in Argentina.
  • It is customary to eat gnocchi (potato dumplings called ñoquis in Argentina) on the 29th of each month, a tradition probably introduced by Italian immigrants. Gnocchi – made of potato, flour and salt- were a cheap meal, ideal for the last days of the month when money was tight. Don’t forget to place some money under the plate to attract good luck and fortune.
Spinach gnocchi
  • The national sport of Argentina is not football but pato (I can see Maradona and Messi frowning at this.) The sport of pato (horseball) was first played in 1610 in Buenos Aires. Pato is Spanish for duck, which was used then in lieu of a ball. The live duck was later replaced by a stuffed leather ball with handles. Pato is played on horseback and the object of the game is to snatch the pato from the opposing team.
  • Contrary to widespread belief, Ernesto “Che” Guevara was not Cuban but Argentinean. He was born in the city of Rosario in 1928.
  • When an animal, such as a lion cub or a baby elephant, is born at any zoo, it is (human) children who choose its name. There usually is a suggestion box outside the cage. The zoo director randomly chooses a slip of paper with a name on it and announces the winning moniker.
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Ana

Hi, I'm Ana. I'm originally from Argentina but I'm currently living in Dallas (USA) with my British husband. I'd like to share my experiences as an expat and as a traveller.

20 thoughts on “5 fun facts about Argentina”

  1. Hey, Ana, are you still in Buenos Aires or are you heading back to Texas? You have not been around Wasabi at all and I was just wondering about you…are you moving back here? Boy, am I asking too many questions? Feel free to email me if you prefer…

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    1. Flew out Monday night. The reason I wasn’t around is I was busy overseeing repairs at our house in BA. Hopefully, I’ll have more free time the next time I’m down there 🙂

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  2. Soem remarkable facts. The 7th son godfather fact is particularly strange. I wonder what bought that idea in. In Australian zoos, they often have naming competitions for significant births and they are enthusiastically entered(such as elephants, hippos, lions etc).

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  3. Haha, I love the first fact! I watched a fun documentary on this the other day. A group of truth-seekers were in Misiones, Argentina and they were interviewing a family who had a 7th son and believed the curse of the werewolf was very much alive. They sat the boy on a chair at midnight during a full-moon waiting for the transformation, and when the crew wasn’t looking the little boy ran off… it was hilarious!

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