If you are travelling to other parts of Argentina, you’ll quickly find out that Buenos Aires is almost in a separate realm to the rest of the country. Argentines tend to resent or talk down about the porteños, because they are seen to be ‘upper-class’. In truth, Buenos Aires has received far more European immigrants than any of the other cities and the culture is proportionately different.
Porteños love their food, their sport and their dancing. You will find this no matter who you talk to; easy conversations are about what you ate the other day, who won yesterday’s match and the Tango bars you frequent. They are a friendly folk, but business-minded. The turbulent political conflicts in the city have given rise to skeptics and cynics, as well as mourning the needless violence. Try not to bring up subject around politics or the ‘Dirty War’ as many porteños are still bitter, but it depends on who you are talking to.
Most residents of Buenos Aires, as mentioned before, have Italian or Spanish origins, with a small amount of German, Swedish, Dutch, and Greek peoples. South American indigenous people are also residents there, mostly immigrants from neighboring countries. Recently there has been a rise in the Arab community as well, notably from Syria, Lebanon and Armenia. The Jewish peoples also have a presence and Buenos Aires has the largest Jewish population in Latin America. Over 90% of porteños are Roman Catholic, though less than 20% are active practitioners. Some of the beautiful colonial church structures are still standing in the city and the metropolitan cathedral remains one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. There is religious freedom in Buenos Aires with minorities of Protestant and Orthodox Christians, Muslims and Jews.
No matter what situation you’re in, you’ll find most porteños ready for a chat and sincerely interested in you. The life of Buenos Aires, you will find, is in its people.