Back when I was living in Xela, Guatemala…
I happened to go to the downtown area where they have this little hall place that has a bunch of restaurants and bars inside.
On this particular day, they happened to have a lot of people around watching a soccer game.
I forgot what it was exactly but I think the World Cup?
Where it was Germany against Argentina from what I remember.
Anyway, there were some other folks there that I met up with..
Including some European guy from some small country…
I think so.
Who basically travelled the world being an independent photographer.
Which, to be honest, sounds like a pretty cool job if he makes it work financially.
Anyway, we were all watching the game…
As you can see in this photo here of the place.
And I felt like maybe I should support Argentina?
Honestly, I’m not that big into soccer so I didn’t give a fuck who’d win.
And I don’t have any real loyalty to either Argentina or Germany…
So who gives a fuck?
Because of that, I figured I might as well root for Argentina since Argentina is a Latin country and we are in Guatemala…
After all, we all support Argentina, right guys?
Would be like going to a Hawkeyes game in Iowa and supporting the Hawkeyes!
You aren’t going to support the opposing team on their land, are you?
Especially if you don’t give a fuck about the outcome…
Well, might as well stick with the crowd.
However, I was wrong about the crowd!
It came to my attention that a majority of people in the crowd supported Germany.
It was hard at first for me to know which team is winning since I never watch soccer that much…
Especially in those days when I was new to Latin America.
So I didn’t know which team is which.
But I figured it out quickly enough.
And when Germany would get a goal or Argentina would fail to get one…
People would celebrate!
The whole crowd would!
So it became clear to me that I was supporting the wrong side.
Granted, maybe I should’ve made it fun…
Get wasted on beer.
Then become an annoying soccer fan yelling….
VIVA ARGENTINA VIVA ARGENTINA NO LLORES POR MI ALEMANIA PORQUE ARGENTINA ES MEJOR!!!!
PERON ¡!! PERON!!!!
EVITA ES AMOR!!!
Thankfully, my better judgement ruled against being a smartass that day.
Or else I might’ve ended up getting into a soccer fight like these gringos I wrote about here in Colombia.
So I suppose it was a good thing I also didn’t buy any Argentine soccer t-shirts for this event either ahead of time.
Either way, I changed my support to Germany.
But was curious as to why the locals didn’t support Argentina.
From what I learned, it’s because of this perception that is out there regarding Argentines…
That they are a bunch of “arrogant, snobby people who think they are better than everyone else and are very closed off.”
And, to be fair, every soccer game I’ve seen where Argentina was in it…
I’ve seen more often than not the locals supporting the opposing team.
Like when I was in Colombia years ago…
I think in Bogota with an ex of mine named Marcela.
And there was a game between Argentina and Chile.
If I remember right, I think Chile won?
As you had a ton of people out in the streets after the game was over yelling shit like VIVA CHILE or whatever really.
And I’ve heard anyhow this perception of Argentina from others as well…
In college, I had a professor who had a deep interest in the “Southern Cone” but agreed that Argentines can be like that.
But there’s a certain element to all of this also….
The Racial Component
Of course, this video here of a few Argentines saying racist shit in Mexico City doesn’t help the stereotype either…
That video is kinda funny to me actually…
The Argentine Princess
She Never Rests
Thinking She is the Best
Sees the non-white Latinos as pests
Berating them as “indios”
Granted, to be fair, not every Argentine is like that.
Though, on the other hand, I’ve never heard a single non-white person enjoy their time in Argentina.
Among like the 4 non-white people I know who have been to Argentina…
They’ve all had nasty shit to say about how racist the locals were to them.
Still, I’ve met plenty of cool Argentines also who were not arrogant, snobby or anything like that.
But, as I said, it’s been a stereotype I’ve heard for as long as I have had exposure to Latin America.
From my memory, the first time I ever heard this was from a Mexican chick named Maria who runs a Mexican restaurant in my small town in Iowa.
I remember her telling me how she tends to see Argentines like that or at least that, in her experience, they can be a little more arrogant than other Latinos.
A large part of it stems from race though.
Where you essentially have Argentines who don’t consider themselves to be Latinos…
But instead European.
And this broader idea that “Argentina isn’t like the rest of Latin America. We are better! We have European heritage!”
Of course, this idea also stemmed historically from efforts by previous Argentine governments (and Brazilian) to whiten up their populations by encouraging immigration from European countries over a century ago.
As you can read here.
"Latin Americans first saw evolution as a reason to 'whiten' their societies, then as a reason to take pride in their mixed lineage, says Jürgen Buchenau in the last of four pieces on Darwin's global influence."
There were other reasons for the immigration patterns to Argentina over the years but that was one influence.
Without surprise, you do have some Argentines nowadays who consider themselves to be better because of their whiter skin color.
And, as I said, some of them don’t see themselves as Latino!
As I wrote here, I met and dated briefly an Argentine chick like that whose name was Tami.
Who insisted that she was not Latino but European!
And how Argentina “is not like the rest of Latin America. We have a different heritage. We are different. Also, we’re not as poor.”
Though when asked if she was born in Europe…
So she is “European” and not “Latina” but yet nobody in her immediate family has been born in Europe for quite some time…
Remind me of this video from Russel Peters here about “Irish Americans.”
Having said all of that…
I do feel that, at times, it’s not just the arrogant Argentines who promote this idea of themselves being better…
Because not every Argentine is like that!
Most that I’ve met are fine.
but, if we are being honest, you do have some people in Latin America who feel very insecure about their skin color…
And might project their insecurities onto others (like Argentines) by just naturally assuming that all Argentines are racists or arrogant.
When that’s not true!
Not all are like that.
So sometimes it isn’t necessarily the Argentine acting in a bad way like those you saw in the video above..
But instead it could be an insecure local who thinks those who look white must all be racists and arrogant!
And that can then be projected onto Argentines (even though, to be fair, not every Argentine is white either).
But let’s wrap this up with one last thought.
The Buenos Aires Factor
Finally, the obvious needs to be said.
Not every Argentine lives in Buenos Aires.
And, as we all know, people from the capital city of really most countries tend to be more arrogant than people outside the capital cities.
That’s how I’ve always seen it anyway.
Like how I went to England one time and felt some of the locals were quite rude…
Then thought “well, maybe it’s just a London thing. Who knows?”
Same thing with Paris.
Went there – found the locals to be VERY rude.
Then an American chick I know who has spent years in France assured me that “no, it’s just Paris. Outside of Paris, people are quite nice.”
In Buenos Aires?
In my experience, the closer you get to Buenos Aires, the worse traits of arrogance, snobby behavior and being closed off tend to be more noticeable in the locals.
Even though not every local in Buenos Aires is like that either.
But step away from Buenos Aires…
Go to Misiones and Corrientes for example.
You’ll find the locals tend to be much nicer in my experience.
I know a guy from Corrientes actually..
We haven’t seen each other in a while but we were last hanging out in Spain.
And I remember having a great time with the guy!
Not arrogant or snobby at all.
Not closed off at all.
We finished a night of heavy drinking at some bar in Barcelona yelling “VIVA EL DIABLO!”
Arguably a bit drunk we were…
With his Spanish wife having a “oh dios mio” look on her face.
A look that says “what has Matt done? He’s made my husband a Satanist!”
VIVA EL DIABLO!
And it’s not just those areas either…
Go to other parts of Argentina outside of Buenos Aires…
Like in El Chalten or Ushuaia…
Found the locals to be relatively friendly also!
Met an Argentine backpacker in some hostel over in El Chalten that was quite nice.
And even when you are dealing with the closed off behavior of an Argentine…
You know – sure, on average they are more closed off than other types of Latinos.
But I’ve always found that they tend to be extremely nice once they’ve warmed up and you two are on good terms.
Like one Argentine guy I met in Buenos Aires who covered my cover to get into some nightclub.
Then some other Argentine guy tried convincing me that his dad or someone in the family founded Heineken.
Did he really?
Doubt it but it made for a good and convincing story.
And he seemed very friendly.
So are Argentines more arrogant?
And more closed off?
Well, I do think there is smoke behind the fire here in general.
Compared to other nationalities?
They can be more arrogant, snobby and definitely closed off.
Well, I do feel Argentines can be less “PC” but I wouldn’t argue they are more racist than other nationalities in Latin America.
If you are black, you might have a bad time as I’ve often heard black Americans in Argentina complaining about racism.
But I’ve always been of the opinion that there’s plenty of racism to go around in the rest of Latin America.
Try a local cop targeting your white gringo ass for money.
I’d say so since the motherfucker picked me due to how out of place I look with my skin color in some parts of Latin America.
Same with the guy who would mug you.
Or the one who will gringo price you.
Or the local male incel who feels insecure seeing a white foreigner “steal his women.”
So, to me, Argentines don’t stick out so much when it comes to racism relative to other Latin countries.
But they definitely stick out more when it comes to arrogance, snobby behavior and being relatively more closed off.
Though, as I said, they can be very friendly when they feel ready and also these traits tend to be less noticeable outside Buenos Aires.
With plenty of nice people in Buenos Aires also.
So while there is some smoke behind the fire…
I’m not calling it a forest fire either.
Anyway, that’s all I got to say.
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