Jemel Johnson

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Reyes Magos is an unique holiday which is a part of Argentina's culture. The holiday is on January 6th, this date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three Wise Men traveled afar. The Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for Baby Jesus. There are two typical music styles in the country, representing two different regions. Also The Tango, at one hand, is more representative of Buenos Aires and became the country's music symbol. Nowadays, it's somehow regarded as cult music and has its loyal followers, not being a largely popular style though. And at the other hand, the so-called folklore, which better represents the rest of the country. Cuarteto and cumbia are other music styles that were originated in the inner country and are now widely accepted.Regarding non-traditional styles, there is the good Buenos Aires rock and pop, represented by music icons such as Charly García, Luis Alberto Spinetta, Fito Páez, Gustavo Ceratti (ex Soda Stereo), Diego Torres, among others.


Argentina is nearly 3,700 km long from north to south, and 1,400 km from east to west. It can roughly be divided into four parts: the fertile plains of the Pampas in the center of the country, the source of Argentina's agricultural wealth; the flat to rolling, oil-rich plateau of Patagonia in the southern half down to Tierra del Fuego; the subtropical flats of the Gran Chaco in the north, and the rugged Andes mountain range along the western border with Chile.The highest point above sea level in Argentina is located in Mendoza. Cerro Aconcagua, at 6,962 meters (22,834 feet), is the highest mountain in the Americas, the Southern, and Western Hemisphere. The lowest point is Laguna del Carbon in Santa Cruz, −105 meters (−344 ft.) below sea level. This is also the lowest point on the South American continent. Due to the higher gravity force in Laguna del Carbon, a pendulum clock, if not corrected, will advance 24 seconds a day. The geographic center of the country is located in south-central La Pampa province. Have you ever wandered if Argentina snows? It does, Argentina gets some snow in the southern and central areas. Argentina snows because part of the country is on the Andes mountains, and the higher the elevation the colder the temperature gets.


Argentina is one of the wealthiest countries.In 2000, the richest 10 percent of the population earned 36 percent of the country's income, while the poorest 10 percent earned 1.5 percent of income. About 36 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The nation's poverty level is US$490 per month for a family of 4. The average wage in the nation is US$676 per month, which is more than 3 times the national minimum wage. About 60 percent of workers earn less than US$450 per month. About 20 percent of the population only lives on US$2 per day. As many as 8 million Argentineans work in the informal sector , or black market . In some areas of the country, the black market accounts for 60 percent of economic activity. These types of economic activities include personal service jobs (people who work as plumbers, electricians, domestic servants, and so forth). People who work in this informal sector also run small, unregulated shops and restaurants. Since these jobs are unregulated by the government, people do not pay taxes on their income and are therefore able to earn higher pay.


The Dirty War, from 1976-1983, was a seven-year campaign by the Argentine government against suspected dissidents and subversives. Many people, both opponents of the government as well as innocent people, were "disappeared" in the middle of the night. They were taken to secret government detention centers where they were tortured and eventually killed. These people are known as "los desaparecidos" or "the disappeared." Although the military dictatorship carried out its war against suspected domestic subversives throughout its entire existence, it was ironically a foreign foe which brought the regime to an end. In the early 1980s, it became clear to both the world and the Argentine people that the government was behind the tens of thousands of kidnappings. The junta, facing increasing opposition over its human rights record, as well as mounting allegations of corruption, sought to allay domestic criticism by launching a successful campaign to regain Las Islas Malvinas (the Falkland Islands).

The Falkland Islands have been a source of contention between England, which administers them, and Argentina, which claims them, since 1820. The junta had thought that it could reclaim these islands relatively easily, that England wouldn't mind their loss, and that the government would regain its popularity and control over its people. However, the government was wrong in its anticipations when 72 days after the invasion of the Islands, the British military won the war, having captured 9,800 Argentine POWs.