Finding the homeland in the rhythm of tango.
Argentina, since the middle of the last century receiving emigrants from many European countries, and today is pleased with foreigners. Unlike non-poor states, like the United States or Canada, once built by the same immigrants from Europe, but just do not invite people to their homes.
The fact that Argentina is ready to give shelter and a decent life to everyone who wants to, "i" was written more than once. We also reported on the formalities that must be followed by a potential Argentinean to obtain an immigrant visa (see "i" b 6 (165) of 19 February 1997, pp. 14 and b 48 (157) of 10 December 1996, p. 15). Now - about what it is worth to go there for.
About Scots, Swiss and other worthy.
Argentina, although located on the other side of the equator, does not become worse from this. It is by no means a wild exotic country, lost in the wilderness of the Latin American continent, peculiar, but certainly not provincial, which seems to most of us, ignorant philistines. I do not want to say that the birthplace of gaucho and tango embodies the romantic dreams of paradise on earth. No, of course: just Argentina is one of those few places where people are able to exist in harmony with each other and nature, work for a decent reward, not turning labor into an end in itself, and enjoy every moment that promises pleasure. What, in general, is the most worthy life.
It's hard to believe, but at the beginning of the 20th century, Argentina was considered almost the richest country in the world, leaving North America far behind with Northern Europe and the gross national product, and the giant export - meat, grain, wool. The proverb even was this: "Rich, like an Argentine."
Hence, thousands of Europeans who tried to find prosperity in the picturesque foothills of the Andes - the southern Italians, the Basques, the Galicians and Catalans, the pedantic Germans and the Austrians with the Swiss, the Irish with the Scots, the Russians with the Jews, moved with the Pyrenees.
The density of the native Indian population was already very low, but there were no Africans in the country. Thus, an absolutely white country, Catholic in spirit, Spanish in the mode of expressing thoughts and more or less European in style of life appeared incredible in the conditions of South America. A familiar Argentine student, a bright brunette, claims that she is the only surviving black-haired resident of Buenos Aires. All the rest, they say, are natural blondes.
Then, a century ago, each newcomer chose a lukewarm place, according to his own ideas about the right life. Frost-resistant Scots, for example, soon figured out the last surviving Indians, climbed into the delightful Patagonia, with the net glaciers and marvelous lakes, closer to the 37th parallel, sung by Jules Verne in Captain Grant's Children. And they began with the mountain obstinacy and obvious success to plant sheep and build roads.
Relatively few descendants of conquistadors (no more than 10-15% of the country's population) have dissolved into settlers of modern times. Galician accent is still heard everywhere. Along with Catalan, Italian and German.
Russians and Jews, scattered in an insignificant amount throughout the country, largely settled in the capital. In which, as in any self-respecting capital, there are representatives of various nationalities, including those rare for Latin America. For example, Syrians. The current president, Carlos Menem, among other things, is from the Syrians. A Muslim by birth, even if baptized in adulthood, he nevertheless was elected head of state - an excellent illustration of the new Argentine constitution, democratic and tolerant, allowing even the president not to be a hereditary Catholic.
As in any decent country, Argentina has its own Switzerland. Different from Switzerland near Moscow (Zvenigorod) or, say, oriental (in Lebanon) by the fact that they live there, all surprisingly, the indigenous Swiss. In the XIX century, the Helvetic Confederation was, apparently, so hungry and troubled that the poor people reached out to the distant continent in search of a better life. And found it in the Andes, among the mountain scenery, clear lakes and relict pines, where today stands the city of San Carlos di Bariloche, at two o'clock in the summer from Buenos Aires. Accustomed to exhausting work and not indulged in a good climate, they were fishing, skiing and, following national inclinations, slowly developed tourism. Already.
A resort for curious Brazilians.
The area of Bariloche was finally mastered at the beginning of the 20th century. There and today - solid Swiss, in the third or fourth generation. Architecture - chalets. Favorite product - chocolate.
Chocolate, unlike wool or grain, is not exported, but is eaten in nemerenyh quantities on the spot. In Bariloche there are at least a dozen huge chocolate shops, on which Argentinean Swiss people hang around, and in front of the entrance there is a master chocolate-maker of the same origin who immediately cooks a sweet product. One of the famous varieties, existing the last hundred years, is called "Mamushka" (with emphasis on the second syllable), is a living witness of the friendship of peoples.
The present Bariloche is an amazing ski resort of a world-class level, where the Europeans and Americans go with pleasure (they are hot at the time and the skis are not the season) and the Brazilian neighbors - to look at the snow (snowflakes are stacked, not realizing that they melt). The climate is very similar to ours, but housing is cheaper. This circumstance was used by Sylvester Stallone, who immediately purchased a villa in this heavenly corner.
Nothing prevents you to follow his example and build - no, not a villa, but a modest house, this way for 100-120 square meters. A thousand for $ 40, including a piece of wonderful forest of hectares at 10-15.
Hospitality that does not interfere with patriotism.
In Argentina, they like foreigners in general and Russians in particular. They show their benevolence as they can, from the very first days, not allowing emigrants to feel that they are strangers. Despite the notorious talkativeness, the Argentines are even ready to listen to a stranger. When it comes to that.
Russian for Argentinean - first of all an educated European, and therefore, the bearer of culture - how tall, so ancient. And the culture is respected there. It's funny, but for many Argentines, the people of Russia are still an alternative to the Yankees. If we bear in mind the traditional dislike of all Hispanics to gringos, it becomes clear that we are for them a historical counterweight to North America.
Their love for Europe and dislike for the US affects everything - on education, travel, way of thinking. Their Argentina is part of Europe, abandoned by the will of fate to another continent. Denominations are many, discrimination is not, disorganization and sociability are akin to Russian.
Argentines do not like to travel abroad, preferring to travel around their country, enough for this diverse and interesting. If they go on holiday abroad, they choose Paris, London or Brussels, traveling around, more precisely, flying around the unloved, albeit close northern neighbors.
The same with children. Young heirs are not sent to study in the US, even English. If the European university does not have enough money, they try to send a child to England, France, Germany for at least a couple of months. But even the lucky ones who happened to graduate from Oxford, most often in the Old World do not settle: patriots.
Unlike Moscow, which, as you know, is not Russia, Buenos Aires for any Argentine is the center of both the country and the universe. A place where they return from distant wanderings, because it is better than him - no.
"How delightful is Buenos Aires in the evening light, the lights of Kavanagh and Komega." Or so: "The street of Juan Bautista Alberti, read novels in growling buses, raw annoying weather." The charming names - Coimbra, Monte Redondo, Martingans, Pampillos, sung by Cortazar and Borges.
The enveloping accordion accords of the tango of Astor Piazzolla, not tarnished by age, are already included in the repertoire of classical musicians. The thunder of the football stadium, the fans, convinced that Argentine football is the most correct football in the world. The historical match for the chess crown of the 1927 sample between Alexander Alekhine and Jose Raul Capablanca, which brought Alekhine the title of world champion.
To the credit of Buenos Aires, his present worthy of a grandiose past. Even today it remains one of the most tusovka and cultural centers of the world. Teatro Colon (Theater of Columbus), in which, in addition to Latin American musicians, world stars are pleased to perform: Rostropovich, Kisin and Pavaroti are far from complete list of the last year. By the way, in the same theater once, for the first time, tango was performed publicly, then only just appeared.
Everything is concentrated in the capital. The population of Buenos Aires and its suburbs is one-third of the country's population. When the city is asleep, it is unclear. Discos opening at midnight, reach the peak of attendance by the middle of the night. Capital Portenio (Buenos Aires dandy), as well as the good-natured fathers of families with household members (including babies), having dinner at two or three in the morning in a restaurant, is a standard picture.
Different national communities prefer to group in certain areas, without doing so from their national or religious affiliation cult. One of the streets, which is a continuous chain of cute jewelry shops, almost entirely belongs to the Armenians. The Jewish community, the fourth largest in size after Israel, the United States and Russia, has as many as 400,000 people.
Siesta in Buenos Aires is not: not hot. Therefore, the metropolitan residents are not as relaxed as most South Americans. The influence of the continent has an easy impact on time: late for a half-hour-hour meeting is not considered late at all. One of my favorite expressions: "There is no need to worry today - tomorrow will always come."
Not too, but still business.
Neglect of time does not affect business activity. For example, in construction - Argentina is experiencing a construction boom today. Shops, offices, motorways are being built. Reconstructed the famous metropolitan area of port taverns La Boca - the small homeland of tango.
An enterprising person who aspires to develop his own business will not lose by concentrating his forces on servicing. With Argentines, it's easy to compete, because they do not like to recycle. With $ 20,000 and connecting fate with small business, you can confidently look to the future: a small sports hall, a hairdresser, a massage parlor, a workshop, a cafe will provide it.
One of the most profitable types of business is tourist. Travel agencies in Argentina are clearly not enough, although the sights there are not less than the neighbors. Everyone knows Brazil, they go there for a carnival and see the Iguazu Falls. And these waterfalls - just on the border of Argentina with Brazil. Western Europeans visit the pampas of Patagonia and swim on cruise liners in the south - Antarctica, Tierra del Fuego, penguins. And our compatriots do not. They do not seem to know anything about these beauties, and go to Argentina for fur coats.
Prospects are bright, but real.
In the country, everything seems to be specially designed not to stop a person from doing business. Moderate taxes. Unlike the rest of South America, except perhaps Chile, in Argentina there is no brutal crime, economic racketeering and drug mafia.
With all the recent turbulent political life, with changing military regimes and the lost Falklands war of 82, Argentina today is the true bulwark of democracy. In terms of living standards, it does not reach the States or Scandinavia, remaining at the level of Southern Europe, but it is consistently among the first thirty countries in the world. And the Argentine peso since 1992 maintains equality with the American dollar.
Argentine salaries may not be the largest in the world (the skilled worker has $ 1.000-1.500 per month, the engineer has $$ 1.500-2.500), but ours, especially in the provinces, are not comparable. And the salary, which is nice, is paid, and on time.
Schools, like universities and hospitals, are free (federal) and paid (private). In Argentina, there is any industry. There is no only atomic. And thank God. And there is excellent beer and wine, no worse than the Chilean we know.
Yes, here's another: the familiar Argentines urged me that steaks and cows are the biggest and tasty. Naturally, in the world. You can take it for a word, but it's better to check it out.
The material was prepared with the assistance of the immigration office "VISA-SERVICE Agency".
To note potential immigrants.
The minimum period for processing an Argentine immigrant visa is 1 month.
Costs for registration (including attorney's fees) - $$ 2,500-3,000 (depending on the composition of the family)
The language of the country is Spanish (no language knowledge required to obtain an immigrant visa)
Acquired immigration status: temporary residence permit - 1 year, extension for another year, permanent residence permit - after 2 years, citizenship - after 3 years.
The need for permanent residence in Argentina for citizenship is not required.
After the registration of the Argentinean passport of an alien or after the acquisition of citizenship, visa-free entry to the United States, most of the countries of Western Europe (with the right to work for hire) and Latin America are allowed.
The average Argentine level of salaries: a skilled worker is $$ 1,000-1,500, an engineer is $$ 1,500-2,500.
The living wage of the Argentinean family (3 people) is $ 750.
The minimum capital for starting a "family business" in Argentina is $$ 10.000-20.000.
Average prices for real estate in Argentina: a three-room apartment in Buenos Aires (80-100 square meters) in areas of middle class - $$ 35.000-50.000; house in the suburbs of Buenos Aires (an area of 100 square meters) with a plot of 10 acres - $$ 30.000-40.000. Prices in the province are 30-50% lower.
Education: free, primary (7 classes) - compulsory.
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Finding the homeland in the rhythm of tango.