Culture & Identity of Uruguay
New doesn't always imply better and in Uruguay this
is definitely believed to be true. At times Uruguay may seem dilapidated and uncared
for, but in reality this historic appearance, best found in most of the architecture,
is better viewed as a sign of priority. Outward appearance and being flashy are
less important than what lies beneath the surface and Uruguay seems to take this
to an extreme. Money isn't spent on great buildings or clothing, as these will
one day be gone, so why not enjoy the now, for there is only now. This attitude
is a relative of Uruguay's Spanish past, one of relaxation and taking one's
time to enjoy the moment and the present company.
Even the cities in Uruguay seem to move at the pace of towns
and villages, which is a necessity since over 90% of the people live in cities and
the culture demands the people move slowly. Although days move slowly, many people
are highly motivated as Uruguay is very well educated and they have a solid economy.
For those young people who want to make more money than the pace and the culture
allow, they move abroad for a couple years to build up a nest egg then return to
enjoy a more leisurely pace of life.
No matter the typical schedule or expected work hours, things in
Uruguay tend to get delayed and postponed regularly. This may seem frustrating
when you're the one waiting for another, but when you're the one occupying
another's time and their ceaseless attention, it seems more like a place where
the moment is magnified and everything else can wait. Like many other
South American countries, the day tends to begin at about 8:00 or 9:00 am
then can run into the evening hours, especially if a long lunch break is taken mid-day.