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'What makes an Argentine?'

May 28, 2010 |  4:00 am

What is the nature of the Argentine?

Does the national character boil down to the tango? The love of futbol? The steaks?

It's a good time to ask. This year, like Mexico, Argentina is marking 200 years of independence. In the video feature above by BBC Mundo (in Spanish), regular Argentinos on the streets of Buenos Aires are asked, "What makes an Argentine?" (Or "Argentinean"; both terms remain in common usage.)

"We're passionate, grumblers, and we can endure a lot from what can be seen," says the first woman interviewed in the clip.

"We're nostalgic, we're sad," says an old man, almost trailing off.

"We can talk about language, for example," says another gent. "We do not speak Castilian [Spanish], we speak Argentinean. Indeed."

Another man argues that Argentina is integrating itself more into a Latin American identity, "more American," as he puts it, while the final voice, a woman identified as a history teacher, sums up her national identity this way:

"Common. We are not special. We are different than the rest like other countries are different than the rest. Perhaps we might think sometimes we are special, but the truth is we are not. We are common people."

— Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Video: BBC Mundo

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