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October 2008

Culture of Uruguay
Some main aspects of Uruguay's culture and traditions.

traditional Gaucho drinking Mate on his horse.

Uruguay has a strong sense of nationalistic culture, despite its small size. The contribution of its alternating conquerors and diverse immigrants has resulted in native traditions that integrate this diversity. Uruguay has centuries old remains, fortresses of the colonial era. Its cities have a rich architectural heritage and an impressive number of writers, artists, and musicians. Here are some cultural traditions unique to Uruguay:


chorizzo en pan con chimichurriSome of the typical Uruguayan food and dishes are part of the country's traditions and an element which often unites Uruguayans no matter in what place of the world they are. This way, one of the main aspects Uruguayans miss while being away from their country are these typical meals and flavors which are not easy to find at other places. The national dish and maybe the most worldwide known Uruguay food is the "asado". (read more...)


To the Uruguayos, Family is very important, and is the central part of daily life. Christmas, New Year's, King's Day, and birthdays are all reasons for families to get together, eat BBQ, drink a bit, and share each other's company. But it doesn't stop there. Sundays are huge family days, and the majority of people have a large lunch each Sunday at the house of their parents or grandparents. It is a natural part of daily life that they meet on these days, and families genuinely enjoy each other's company. (read more...)


Asados are social activities. It's a time consuming process, and while someone is preparing the fire (el asador) everyone else gets to eat snacks, and play cards. This Uruguayan food owes its magic not only due to the meal itself, but to the way Uruguayans use to meet, cook it and eat it together, many times playing "truco", a typical Uruguayan playing-cards game. (Read more...)


The drinking of Mate (pronounced Mah-teh) in Uruguay is a cultural ritual which is often shared with friends and family, and is a massive part of the culture in Uruguay, comparable to the popularity of coffee drinking in the U.S.; In Uruguay and Argentina it is common to see people walking around the streets toting a mate and a thermos with hot water. People who drink yerba mate do it as a social activity. Part of the new, more informal way of life in Uruguay includes drinking Mate while on walks, sporting events, at work, and is extremely popular among many student activities. (Read more...)



Inland, we find the culture of the gaucho, the cowboys of South America. To this day, gauchos wear the same traditional dress as generations ago. Complete with its own music and dance; gaucho is about pride and dignity, individual integrity, and national identity.The gaucho is intimately linked to the birth of the nation. His values and sense of liberty were a determining factor in the fight for Uruguayan independence. (Read more...)


Uruguay attaches a lot of importance to carnival and the origins are European and African. During carnival in the times of the Spanish colony, African slaves covered themselves with robes of vivid colors and walked through the streets toward the city walls of Montevideo, where they were allowed to sing and dance. The “Candombe” is derived from African rhythms performed by the Negro slaves of the colony. (Read more...)




The tango has an entire sub-culture centered on movement, music, and lyrics. Tango is love, hate, and passion. Tango transforms one’s existential problems into pure energy and joy. And in Uruguay, people love to Tango and they Tango well!

Football (Soccer)

Uruguay was the first football (Soccer) world champion ever. But did you also know that Uruguay won the world championship once more in 1950 in the enormous Maracaná stadium, in Brazil, where Uruguay won a historic match against Brazil 2:1? This mythical match is referred to as the Maracanazo and is part of the national myth of Uruguay.


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