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12. New Zealand VS. Argentina

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

DISCLAIMER (seems that most blog posts are starting off with a disclaimer these days): these observations are drawn from personal experiences. So, ultimately it will be objective. Of course, both are different countries with different cultures that obviously will not be the same. But this will act to compare differences and similarities.

New Zealand and Argentinian are both rich cultures in the sense that have a lot to show for themselves. This makes the experience of living in each one brilliant yet wildly different. How so, you may ask? Don't you worry sweetie because I am absolutely going to tell you about it all within these following categories: people, food, routine, politics and nature.

As the first category mentioned being: 'people', let me explain what I mean. The difference between each country's people and their culture. Argentinian people are noticeably a lot more 'amistoso' they say, which means friendly. For example, when you first meet a person in Argentina you greet them with a kiss on the cheek. On the contrary in New Zealand, often no physical contact is exchanged whatsoever. It also creates that awkward moment where you do not know how to greet someone. Do I give them a hug? A kiss on the cheek? Do I pop out my hand for a handshake or is that too formal? An easy fix is the Argentinian way: the immobile rule of the kiss on the cheek. Even exchanged between men too. That avoids that terrible moment of indecision. Really makes life easier for all. I think that when I return to NZ very soon I will pop the kisses on the cheeks just instinctively and scare a few people off. You can also grow to become closer with people in Argentina (generally speaking) a lot faster than in the likes of New Zealand. Don't be surprised if on the first occasion of meeting somebody you are submitted to their whole life's story. Intensity, for sure, but with that being said you don't waste time with that small talk. I have a blog post written about my unconditional love for 'small talk' (sarcasm, of course), will link it in bio.

Another observation that I have acquired is the importance of tradition that Argentinians have. Because Argentinians have a culture that has exceeded years on end, ultimately making it a tradition, leads the culture to be less interchangeable. Opinions are not as willing to adapt in times of change due to that fixed nature. Therefore, the overriding theme is the classic ideology of: 'my way or the high way'. Sometimes that makes conversations difficult if you adhere to something other than that of whom you are speaking to. New Zealand culture is contrary to that; relatively adaptable and interchangeable. This idea of Argentinians being somewhat stubborn does not apply to everyone at all. It is more so that movement occurs slower because they are more embedded within their culture.

Food is a big one. For Argentina, the concept of food remains traditional too: Asados (big barbecues cooked on a outside grill) every Sunday, Milanesas (anything ranging to meat to soy covered with breadcrumbs), Lomitos (bigger version of a cheeseburger), Empanadas (sure that y'all know about them) and more. Generally speaking, all includes meat. So for my vegetarian and vegan family out there, you will encounter difficulties when you witness the bewildered looks of confusion on the faces of Argentinians in the presence of a herbivore. Alfajores (chocolate covered biscuit-cakes), Flan (a custard-like creation), Chocotorta (chocolate cake made out of biscuits and dulce de leche) and Facturas (pastries) are all grossly sweet items consumed daily. New Zealand's food culture is incredibly diverse. With cuisines from the whole world, the definition of New Zealand typical food is harder to clarify. For me, I am most definitely an advocate for that food diversity. If you are a foreigner (in Argentina) and have not heard of the concept of Mate (pronounced ma-te, not the New Zealand synonym for friend), you soon will. Mate is a shared drink that resembles tea yet has an acquired taste. You have one cup with a straw and one person is in charge of delegating the Mate. You pour (the person in charge) and give it to the person closet to you. Once that person has finished, they will return it to the person in charge. From there, the cup is filled again. You do not clean the straw and you do not say thank you when receiving the Mate unless you do not want anymore - I like it a lot.

Routine for sure is noticeable contrast. Specifically in regards to the night life. In New Zealand our night life begins at 9PM (más o menos) in the earliest of AM's. Approximately around 1 or 2. But Argentinians make their night life begin when ours draws to a close. That makes their night life end at the ridiculous hour of 6AM. What the F**K?! You have to be rather LOCO to adhere to this. In attempt and in failure, I have unsuccessfully adjusted to this routine. At least, if you were stunned with a hangover from going out, in New Zealand reasonable sleeping hours would attempt to cure your self-given diagnosis. Argentinians have no chance, their following day is done and dusted, never to be recovered again. Sorry Argentinians, I entirely reside with New Zealand on this one as I actually cannot see any logic in your routine.

The politics make me giggle. Argentina is currently experiencing an economic crisis so grand that its economy in 2019 has experienced inflation of the highest degree. At the beginning of the year, 1 USD was equivalent to 37.5638 Argentine Pesos and as I write this blog post on the 3rd of December 1 USD is now equivalent to 59.5841 Argentine Pesos. That figure is expected to only increase going into 2020. New Zealand's economy has been stable for a long time. Here is an excerpt that explains its economical stability (will leave link to full webpage below):

Between 2000 and 2007, our economy expanded by an average of 3.5% each year. The 2008/09 recession was shallow compared to other advanced economies. Since 2010 annual growth has averaged 2.1%. The Government forecasts average growth of over 3% for 2018, and is expected to reach 3.6% in 2019.

Argentinian politics allow for this inflation to occur. Did you know that the government offers plans to its people that give them money for not working? Money that originates from working people's taxes and money stolen by the government. They specifically have a plan for people aged 19-25 that gives them money for free and with no strings attached. Just like the 'The Who', 'talking 'bout my generation', the government literally encourages its own youth to not work. What sort of future are you creating for your country? And I will proceed to stop myself there. If you are interested in learning more about Argentina's interesting political system (specifically about its economy), I will leave a link below. Argentina does however offer free university and health care, those are big pluses.

While there are staggeringly diverse contrasts between the two cultures, one thing that shares a similarity has to be the nature. Both countries have exquisite natural scopes. Argentina has glaciers in the south, mountains on the west, deserts and the Iguazú Falls in the north, and beaches on the east. New Zealand, predominantly known for its nature within its small proximity, is covered by forests, mountains and beaches galore! New Zealand and Argentina are incredibly beautiful countries.

Addressing similarities and differences of the countries establishes how fortunate I have been to live in both countries. Learning to appreciate what each country has to offer, yet also learning what each country has to work on. We are all so fortunate to experience this world for what it is. As soon as you can, go and seek what this world has to offer; in your own country and aboard.

Link to 'Big Talk Not Small Talk!' post:

Link to 'New Zealand Now' website:

Link to an Argentinian Economy video:

If you have any further questions based on this blog post or anything else in regards to this blog or personal queries, be sure to get in contact with me through this website or through the blog's instagram.


Link for previous blog post:

Link to 'Born In 2000' instagram:

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This blog will encompass the life of a 19-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations, videos and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface.

For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected twice a week. Take this present moment now and rock it!

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