Saturday, 24 September 2011

Open Thread - Saturday

It's time for a bit of travel. Most people know the Argentina of the tango, so I would like to show the Argentina of the gauchos, the Pampas.

Here's a different kind of Argentinian music:

I like this one even better!


The criollo is a small, very strong horse. They learn very quickly and
make the ideal working companions for the gauchos.

Music and dance run through the gauchos' veins

The trousers worn by gauchos are called bombachas. They're very roomy and comfortable.

Yerba mate

Mate is a strong, bitter tea, very invigorating. The gauchos have it all the time, but early in the morning, they get ready to work by having a few rounds of mate. The gourd is filled with yerba mate and boiling water, then passed around and sucked through a pump. I don't know about Argentina, but in Brazil the gauchos don't say thank you when offered the gourd because that means they had enough and are out of the round. In Brazil it's called chimarrão. Gauchos carry a thermos to top themselves up during the working day.

The Pampas

The Pampas

Pampas cat

Pampas fox



My brother-in-law

My brother-in-law was a Brazilian gaucho from the southernmost state: Rio Grande do Sul. I learned a lot about the culture from him. The customs, the music and the dances are very similar. He played the bombo, the large percussion instrument seen in the video and was a great dancer.

He also made the best churrasco:

Our son Billy learned to ride with with the best and became an honorary little gaucho... Here he is, wearing full gaucho apparel:

I hope you've enjoyed this trip to the Pampas. It was a trip down memory lane for me and gave me the opportunity to pay a small tribute to my dear, remarkable brother-in-law. He died a few years ago, following a riding accident. Well, he lived and died doing something he really loved and those who met him were left with very fond memories of the good times.