Argentina Gift Giving Customs

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Flag of Argentina

Capital: Buenos Aires

Languages: Spanish

Currency: Argentine Peso (ARS)

Drive on which side? Right

Nickname for Citizen: Argentinean

National Holiday: Labour Day, May 1

In Argentina the dates are written with the day first, then the month and then the year.

When presented with a gift, open it at once and show how grateful you are to have received it.

[edit] Culture

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Spanish is the official language, although many people speak English, Italian, or other languages. Argentine Spanish is heavily influenced by Italian and is unlike Spanish spoken anywhere in Latin America.[1]

Argentines are well-educated and like to be viewed as cosmopolitan and progressive.

A standard handshake and a nod with direct eye contact show respect when greeting someone. An embrace and one kiss on the cheek is common between friends and acquaintances.

Argentina has a widely diverse ecosystem. It has a subtropical northern region and a glacier in the south. It has forests, glacial lakes, and deserts. Wildlife ranges from penguins to flamingos.

[edit] Addressing Others - Name or Title?

Addressing others with respect can be more complicated in countries that use different naming conventions from your home country. In Spanish-speaking Latin American countries such as Argentina and Chile, hyphenated last names are more common.

  • Address people by using the titles Señor (Mr.), Señora (Mrs.), Señorita (Miss) followed by ther surname (last name).
  • Physicians and lawyers are addressed as 'Doctor' followed by their surname.
  • When a woman marries she adds her husband's surname preceded by 'de' but keeps her father's surname: For example - Julia Pérez de Larrea.[2]

[edit] Corporate Culture

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To conduct business in Argentina, it is necessary to obtain third party introductions through institutions such as law firms, consulting firms or banks. Your business intermediary or "middle man" is referred to as an enchufado.

Should you need to reach a decision maker, you must go through his or her personal assistant or secretary. Politeness is essential when dealing with these intermediaries as they determine the speed of your appointment with the boss.

Standard business card etiquette in Argentina is to have cards printed in Spanish as well as English. Present your business card so the Spanish side faces the recipient.

Businesspeople expect to deal with someone of equal status.

[edit] Business Gift Giving Etiquette

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  • Business gifts in Argentina are not expected until a fairly close relationship has been formed.
  • High-quality gifts are appreciated, but very expensive gifts may be interpreted as bribes.
  • Women should not give gifts to male colleagues as it will be thought of as a personal gesture.

[edit] Personal Gift Giving Etiquette

  • Bring a host/hostess gift of flowers, candy, pastries, chocolates, imported liquor or champagne when invited to someone’s home.
  • Telephone your hosts the following day to thank them for their hospitality.

[edit] Gifts To Avoid

Don’t give wine as a gift. It is considered to be too common.
Avoid personal items, including clothing.
Do not give knives or scissors as they indicate a desire to sever the relationship.

[edit] Tipping

Restaurants - If a gratuity is not included in your bill, then a 10-15% tip is standard.
Spas - 15-20% of the service is a standard tip at most spas.
Hotels - A minimum of one peso per baggage for taking luggage to your room. 2 pesos is better.
Taxis - Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped unless they perform some extra service such as carrying your bags or luggage to your hotel entrance, etc. But almost everybody leaves them something. Let them keep the change.

[edit] Related Items

International Gift Customs

[edit] References

  1. Understanding Cultures - Argentina
  2. First Name or Title?