San Telmo as the World Capital of Tango

The cultural relevance and importance that tango music represents for the Southern countries of Argentina and Uruguay is such that, in 2009, tango was added to the list of Intangible World Heritage of Humanity.

Today, tango is known all over the world. As mentioned before, its origins date back to the 19th century, in the River Plate region, shared by Uruguay and Argentina. The Porteño neighborhoods San Telmo and La Boca have historically been two important trade centers in Buenos Aires, given that they are exactly adjacent to the port of Buenos Aires. In the beginning, tango was considered to incitf960x0-262325_262343_8e crime among the members of the “lower social classes”.

One of the main points pointed out by purists was the sensuality spell under which people seemed to fall while dancing to this passionate music. Much like it happened to Elvis when he was banned from national television for swaying his hips being labeled as suggestive, vulgar and as inciting “sexual misconduct” and exhibitionism. This sparked the famous nickname “Elvis the Pelvis”. According to the authorities, especially in the beginning of the past century (20th century), tango was vulgar and represented everything that goes against good morals. This is why tango shows or public dances had to be performed in clandestine clubs, called Milongas.

As mentioned before, tango music is known today all over the world. For example, there is a kind of dance in Finland known as Finnish Tango, where locals participate in festivals and perform it in their adapted, “Finnish” way.

There is also a traditional writing technique from San Telmo that is called Buenos Aires Steak and has nothing to do with meat. This technique combines vibrant colors with very specific font styles, which are indeed very picturesque. Tango had taken the world by storm, there is no doubt about it.

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