Why are Argentines so Angry?

perry

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This is an interesting topic and my feeling is that people in Buenos Aires wear their emotions on their sleeves and get angry easily . It is over in 10 minutes and all forgotten and one must not take it personally and move on. In general most people are nice especially in a social settings where you will see Argentines relax and smile and laugh a lot . The public face of Porteños that you see on the streets is melancholic but do not be fooled that people are like this all the time.

Over 4 years my feelings on porteños have changed and I understand their bronca and who they are. Sergio made some interesting points about Europe and this has been well researched by other writers as one of the reasons for the insecurity that makes people frustated .

Argentina is a special country and people and their national indentity will come to be defined in the coming years.
 

sergio

Registered
Fedec, you are right on spot as usual. I was here through the 90's and it was a far less aggressive time. The Kirchners have indeed encouraged lawlessness, class resentment and even xenophobia. In what country of the world are protesters allowed to block roads, even major roads and highways, without any consequences whatsoever? But getting back to the specific point....There is an aggressive attitude here, a general lack of respect for others, that one does not find in countries like the US or the UK. Apartment building consorcio meetings are a good example. Here they are invariably chaotic, dominated by rude and angry people who shout and scream, insulting each other - even in buildings in the most elite neighborhoods. It just isn't so in the US. There are rules of conduct, standards to be adhered to. The consorcio meetings are truly a microcosm of a dysfunctional society - ironically a society that sees itself as more sophisticated than others.
 

katiemcaldwell

Registered
I have only lived here for month but have found the locals especially kind, forgiving, cheerful and patient with my extremely inadequent Spanish. There are kind people everywhere, and assholes everywhere...you just can't throw an entire race into either category-that's absurd. I understand the hardhips that can come from living in another culture and therefore try to be patient with some of the questions or postings here, but some of these are ridiculous. I am finding that there are people that move here who are bitter, cynical and disgruntled in general and (oh-so-surprisingly) seem unhappy with life here; but I think it's the person and not the city...their outlook and insensitivity to cultural differences. Some people on this forum are just out to spread negativity...I mean, why are some of you even here? No one is FORCING you to stay in this country. If you are so unhappy that you feel it necessary to spread disrespect and anger all over this forum, please leave and take it elsewhere. I for one am blessed and thrilled to be living here and am finding happiness, beauty and kindness all over the place. Coincidence? No. Please learn to be understanding and patient...

Ok. I'm done now. :)
 

perry

Registered
Anger is an interesting emotion but to be frank I prefer that someone screams at me that has repressed anger that will boil over into more violent actions.

There are more beautiful qualities with the local inhabitants than negative ones and to live your life with angst is completely unnecessary . Most of us here are not trapped and can leave easily and start new lives elsewhere .

I myself have come to peace with Buenos Aires and enjoy it more now than ever . I have accepted its warts and just enjoy life for what it gives me .
 

Mano Negra

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Just to reinforce the positive....Buenos Aires is undoubtedly the best city in the world to live in at the moment. It has anything you could possibly want and everything you might like to do, at a fraction of the cost. Why, because it is still third world politically, though if you have a few dollars in your pocket this is easy to forget. I am quite happy to put up with the inconveniences (I am still waiting for the police to visit to give me the domicile certificate that I need for my CDI which I need to buy a car, after 3 days of asking) to benefit from all the rest!

Argentines unhappy? Have you seen how people of all ages party here? Do you not share a chat with your taxi driver? Do you not joke with the checkout girl? I've only been here for a week though I'm staying for a couple of years but have spent 6 or 7 months hear over the years and watched how the Argentines bounce back from adversity.

Good things...the security guys at the flat are charming. They got my maid for me and she is charming. My taxi driver (who I have now used for 6 years) is re charming and a very good friend. The guy who came to fix my boiler yesterday was charming, efficient and refused a tip. I have stayed in 5 different apartments here and never had anything but attentive service. The guys who sold me my new phone today were charming (despite obviously having been out as late as me last night)When I read some of the posts on this site I seriously think there may be two BA's, as I am certainly not living in the same one as some of you guys.

Seriously though I think there is a particular manner of communicating here if you want something done. Its called make it their problem. Never say "is it possible to....?" or "can you do this......?" instead say "what we are going to do" or "what we need to do" and before you know it, realizing you are completely incompetant to perform the selected task, they have done it for you!

Saludos
 

veggie_pab

Registered
In the past I've asked myself many times "why are people on the streets here looking so angry and unfriendly?" Will they behave in the same way at home? What about friends?

At the end I've come to certain conclusions that might explain what's happening:

- because of media pressure (overflow of news related to insecurity!) people get really paranoid. They are afraid being mugged, so as a self-defense mechanism (consciously or unconsciously) their faces turn into a "get away from me, don't even think of..." mode

- due to the constant state of tension caused by inflation, unemployment, crime, burocracy, inefficiency, politics and so on, they just "explode" when something bothers them on the street. It's an automatic reaction, triggered maybe by a silly incident

- as a result of all of the above and also personal concerns, patience is very limited and people are always "on the edge". Life is hard here, happiness is a puzzle with (a lot of) missing pieces, frustrating

I am not justifying certain unfair attitudes we might have faced on the street dealing with locals, I am just stating some reasons why I think that might be happening.

I agree with many of you when you say that people do not behave in the same way in a different environment. On the street they become anonymous to their enemies, so that makes them feel stronger ("I can curse at this driver that almost hit me, I won't see him anymore and besides it will make me feel better"). Among friends or family, they will think twice before misbehaving as that might certainly strongly affect their lives.

You may say "all over the world people have problems, but they are not behaving in this way though". True. But, it seems that culture here somehow "allows" that (and lets go).

Interesting topic.
 

mini

Registered
I think people are reading way too much into this whole issue. Miles has it in one.

Miles Lewis said:
Argentines unhappy? Have you seen how people of all ages party here?
They are exhausted. Everyone here is tired, not angry. BAians don't sleep enough which makes them cranky, sleepy, tired with long faces and baggy eyes.
 
sergio said:
Fedec, you are right on spot as usual. I was here through the 90's and it was a far less aggressive time. The Kirchners have indeed encouraged lawlessness, class resentment and even xenophobia. In what country of the world are protesters allowed to block roads, even major roads and highways, without any consequences whatsoever? But getting back to the specific point....There is an aggressive attitude here, a general lack of respect for others, that one does not find in countries like the US or the UK. Apartment building consorcio meetings are a good example. Here they are invariably chaotic, dominated by rude and angry people who shout and scream, insulting each other - even in buildings in the most elite neighborhoods. It just isn't so in the US. There are rules of conduct, standards to be adhered to. The consorcio meetings are truly a microcosm of a dysfunctional society - ironically a society that sees itself as more sophisticated than others.

I would have to agree that Buenos Aires has become incredibly aggressive. I have been in the US for around 6 weeks now and I am amazed at how differently people behave here (in general). You make a perfect point about the consorcio meetings. I think that many of the people who post that the people are wonderful do not own apartments. Their life is much less complicated. And, happier. Unfortunately, people do not learn until after the fact.

I also think that there is enormous envy and resentment towards a foreigner if you own property. And, if a foreigner has a good job, that leads to resentment too.

I have had coffee with people who post on this forum and what they say in person has nothing to do with what they post on this forum. Particulary, for people in business. It almost makes a mockery of some of the stuff that I read because I know that it isn't true and the person doesn't believe what they are posting.

The other aspect of life in BA that makes people aggressive is the whole aspect of keeping up appearances. It really takes its toll after a while.
 

EliA

Registered
I am from Seattle where people are generally polite but unfriendly, and I've lived in Philadelphia where people are generally friendly but impolite. It's a world of difference wrapped up in two cities within the same country. Even cities as close as Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are completely different from one another.

I adapt quickly and unconsciously to each new place. In Seattle I am polite but distant and go to bed at 10 pm; in Philadelphia I am friendly and aggressive and stay out until 2; in Buenos Aires I've been known to scowl at strangers and party until 5 am. (I would like to note, however, that more often than not I smile at people on the streets here, and more often than not that smile is returned.)

Cultures change within a matter of miles and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with borders or language. People should try to find what they love about each place's culture and learn to ignore or accept what they don't.
 

Napoleon

Registered
EliA said:
...In Buenos Aires I've been known to scowl at strangers and party until 5 am.
Friday night I didn't meet up with a girl I know until after her group had dinner. The went to some place in Abasto-ish that was a low key place with beers by the liter, pizza by the pie or slice, and some jokers playing some instruments on the back patio. I got there ~1am and we stayed there until a little after 4am.

Our group consisted of an Argentine girl, a French girl, a Finnish girl (with a Brazilian husband who isn't in town), and a guy who is Colombian/English/Greek... something. Oh, y yo your resident yanqui. Most of the conversation was in castellano except for when I really just needed to explain something in 3 minutes instead of 10. And we dabbled in pidgin French when we heard French at the next table.

I have to say that I don't think that people are really that angry, but I think that they express themselves more vocally than other cities. OK, well maybe not some cities in Italy or towns on Greek islands where the locals seem to be arguing fiercely, but are really just enthusiastically agreeing with each other.
 
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