What are quirky local customs in Buenos Aires?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Karina Martinez-Carter

The first thing to know about Buenos Aires’ customs is how to greet people. Across Argentina, all people greet each other with a kiss (just one) on the cheek, including men. People are receptive to handshakes, but they are considered a bit stilted and people meet and greet each other with a cheek-to-cheek kiss, even in business settings.

Another local custom that seems at first a bit confusing to outsiders is mate. Mate is a loose-leaf, caffeinated tea that people pack into a gourd, sip with a metal straw (bombilla) and commonly share, passing it around in a circle. A whole formula of traditions come with drinking mate, but the basic know-how for participating in a mate circle is to sip the entirety of the tea in the gourd, then pass it back to the preparer to serve for the next person.

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