"Argentina: Neither good nor bad"

To commemorate the bicentennial, Google and me translated this great article about ‘Defining Argentines’. After finishing reading this article I couldn’t help feel proud to be an Argentine.
For better or for worse, I am proud to be an Argentin


Neither good nor bad: This is who we are
By: Facundo Landívar (for Diario Clarin)
Photos: Bicentennial (Infobae)

Deceitful and hard workers, democratic but lawbreakers... The singe characteristic shared today by most Argentines is the contradiction.

There is something that is clear: Two hundred year of history weren’t enough to be able to define an Argentine. Unless we choose as a definition the one that says that we are essentially contradictory, since we feel in every possible way. We are honest and dishonest, happy and sad, caring and selfish, workers and fraudulent. In short, Argentine to the core.

"The singe characteristic shared today by most Argentines is the contradiction."
At least that’s what is reflected in the poll conducted for the study by Graciela Romer Studio & Co, which researched the country questioning argentines from the age of 18 to 70 years, seeking answers to a question as basic as knowing who we really are and how we are. Today argentines are celebrating two centuries of common history, history as contradictory as our own self, history as rich as ourselves, history as passionate as our people.

This work, intended to be a radiography to help us understand more about this story of being an argentine, ends reflecting that our personality holds far more positive characteristics than negative. And it’s not intended to see the glass half-full, but following the clues in different issues (such as politics, democracy, family and everyday life, etc.) we, as an integrated society, have came a long way (progressing) all these years.

At some point there will be surprises. Some will agree with a number of results more than others, and some would wonder who could have chosen a particular option. But all, on one way or another, and always under the great umbrella of continue contradiction, conforms this entelechy called "Argentines."

Just as an example, when asked about which public personalities represents us the best, the top two answers were Diego Armando Maradona (Soccer Payer Hero who scored the winning point on a soccer world cup on a fraudulent manner ) and Rene Favaloro (Cardiac surgeon who created the technique for coronary bypass surgery). Can there be anything more contradictory than these two personalities, both in what they did as in what they represented? However, the two together makes, without being able to define it, that which is now called the Argentinean-ism.

Diving for the psyche
But if choosing the most representative personality is an exercise worth of diving deeper in our psyche, defining who we are would be a tougher task. Because according to us, argentines, we are, and in this order, deceitful, caring, aggressive, hardworking, lazy, liars, patriotic, honest, emotional, arrogant (Cocky), traditionalists, selfish, intelligent, stubborn, happy and rude.

And when we have to choose between two options, we say that we are more offenders than respectful, more improvisers than planners, more generous than selfish, more intolerant than tolerant, and more joyful than sad, more emotional than rational.

Of course, as with any survey, one can agree or disagree with the majority’s opinion, but if you apply the results of the survey in question, no one would have many problems because, when defining society in Argentina, we say that We are more democratic than authoritarian, for example.

In fact, in the last 15 years of democracy, it has established itself as the preferred model of government: it went from 77% support (to democracy) in 1995 to 90% in 2010. This reflects, at least, confidence in a system of government that not even an economic crisis as deep as the one in 2001, manages to minus popular support.

Secured future
60 % of all Argentines believe the country will be much better in 10 years. 10 years ago just 33 % believed that. When taking about if they would leave the country for a better future, 70 % said they would stay, but when answering about the future of their kids, just 60 % said they should stay also.

Not everything has to do with the economic or strength of the country for the future to look unclear for the Argentine. In fact, uncertainty arises as the main problem still needs to be solved: Nearly seven of every 10 Argentines points to insecurity as the main problem facing the country, which is consistent with that 4 out of 10 that assured to have suffered a crime in the last six months.

Far from being a "feeling", insecurity appears to be a key-issue for the Argentina’s Bicentenary.

"What is the most important thing in life? Having family close by"

However, beyond all fears, there is something that does define the Argentines: the love of family. What is the most important thing in life? Having family close by. What's your passion in life? Being with the family. With no difference in social strata or age group, is confirmed once again that family as an institution, formal or informal, that remains the emotional core for Argentines.

The survey leaves a lot more material to explore. Just some interesting statements : We are more “machista” than ever, Boca is not half plus one but most, sexual initiation is between 16 and 19, men are way more unfaithful than women, abortion should be permitted in some cases, Argentines are believers but not enough to go to religious services, we are pleased with our emotional life, we do not mind the brand when buying clothes and we are not so addicted to reading (80% read fewer than two books in one year).

A little extra data, or perhaps a little less… in any case, this is how we are. We are neither good nor bad, neither saints nor devils. This is what we are, this is how we feel. We are hard with ourselves, self-critical to the extreme, and yet hopeful in a more benign future, in a more stable country, in a family that surrounds us in a better country. This is what we are, this is our radiography, our today. This is what we are, no more, nor less: The Argentine of the Bicentennial.

Special Diario Clarin: "How we are, how we see ourselves"

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