Cultural intelligence

 
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ARGENTINA: making deep connections

A good way to show your cultural savvy in Buenos Aires is to know the etiquette surrounding Argentina’s most popular drink, mate (mah-tay). Made from dry yerba leaves resembling green tea, it is usually served in silver-lined gourd container also called a mate. It is sipped with a silver straw called a bombilla (bom-bee-zshuh) which filters the leaves with a strainer at the bottom.

 

The person serving the mate, the cebador, must drink the first cup, to stave off the bitterness. As the mate gourd in replenished and passed around from person, there is a shared intimacy among the group. All kinds of magical conversations occur and deep connections are made, as each person takes turns to sip from the same straw until the mate is lavado, or has lost its flavor.

 

> Do you have any magical memories to share about your experiences with mate?

 

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