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Cultural differences and 3 in a tango embrace.

It was like a scene from a movie. As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she felt like time stopped, everything went silent and that everyone in the tiny barrio supermarket was staring at her with their mouths agape with shock. ¨But where are you from!?¨ asked the old woman who had started the entire charade, her tone clearly communicating her disbelief at what the young pregnant woman had just said.  My tanguera friend, a foreigner who is 8 months pregnant, had just stated that letting pregnant women to the front of the line at the supermarket is not so common in her country. As she nervously laughed and mumbled her own country, the old woman turned to the rest of the queue and proudly stated that at least Argentinians have one thing right, and that is treating pregnant women with respect.

See, my pregnant friend has a delightful watermelon sized belly out in front of her. Here in Argentina, that gives you the right to seats on the bus, subway and train (even during rush hour), priority in the queues of supermarket, stores, big warehouses (although husbands taking their pregnant wives to the big hardware stores are usually seen as pushing the boundaries a bit), hospitals, blood work laboratories - you name it, there is usually priority for pregnant women. People smile and ask whether it is a boy or girl, what name you have chosen, and if you´re lucky, someone (usually an elderly lady) will bless the child as you walk by.

My friend had been waiting in the queue at the supermarket rather patiently, enjoying being out of the house and interacting with people instead of laid up on the couch. The old woman had tried to convince her to move forward in the queue and take advantage of the special treatment pregnant women get but my friend had said she was not in a hurry and not feeling tired so it was okay to wait. It was not until the couple at the front of the queue noticed her belly that she got pushed and prodded to the front of the line and making polite excuses for her behaviour as she was scolded for not having spoken up, had uttered the unforgivable statement that such ¨rules¨ are not so prevalent in her country.

After we had fled the scene, it got us talking about the various nuances of the culture here in Argentina - a culture that is seen to be dominated by the handsome, sweet talking romantic men, a lot of whom tend to take advantage of their reputation by wolf whistling or commenting loudly about any woman on the street. Having experienced the excessive cat calls and comments prior to being pregnant, my friend said that the male attention had dropped dramatically since her belly began to show and she feels treated with more respect than previously.  The number of stares and off the cuff comments has reduced dramatically and those they do comment usually comment on the ´linda panza´ (cute tummy) that she has. This has been a pleasant surprise and she said the entire experience of being pregnant in Argentina has made her feel an extra bit special and cared for - something that may be unique for her, but seems to be common place for women here if you sit and watch how most people react when a pregnant woman is around.

In the tango world, she has found that dances have been harder to come by unless she begins the evening dancing with friends as a way of showing that yes she is here to dance, and is quite capable at moving around the dance floor with her belly. The dances she does get are gentler and sweeter as each dance partner looks to take extra special care of her. While tango has the reputation of being a sexy dance and full of passion, it is also about connection and when there is a third between the two dancers, this connection must feel even more sacred and special.

Natacha Poberaj, a well known tango performer, has proved that being 7 months pregnant doesn´t stop you from dancing tango, looking beautiful or oozing sensuality.  For your tango video injection for today, here is the video of Fabian Peralta and Natacha Poberaj (who is 7 or 8 months pregnant at the time) performing at the World Championships in 2007.  Note the gentle movements, the musicality and the pauses that make this a great performance to watch.



  • Muchos Gracias for your article.Much thanks again. Want more. Mlenar

    Posted by Williamseep on June 20, 2016

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