From LandingPad: The Argentinean Beach Clap By Jed

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Jed from LandingPadBA describes a frecuent Argentine practice at the beach. Read and learn a little more about Argentine cultour from an American guy (Jed) living in Buenos Aires.


By Jed

No it’s not some new STD. It’s a socially responsible, collective attitude that resolves an issue on the beach.

After living in Argentina for 6 years, it is no longer a common occurrence that I am left in awe of a new discovery. Argentina has plenty of small differences that I both love and could live without, and that’s what traveling and exploring is all about, right? Finding those little differences that are normal elsewhere. Discovering, learning and appreciating a new culture. What happens when these small differences begin to run out? I don’t have an answer for you, but I do want to point out one of the coolest occurrences I may have seen in Argentina: The Argentinean Beach Clap.

On a trip to the beach last year I was dazed, entranced by the rhythmic waves, basting in the sun, sipping mate when I heard it. Clapping. Everyone began to clap all around me. At first I thought there was some sort of impromptu dance off. Maybe someone was being goaded into chugging a liter of Quilmes- “What the hell is going on?” I thought.

I rose from my protective cave-tent to see a man walking down the beach with a child on his shoulders. The clap was shadowing him, like the wave at a baseball game. My Porteña girlfriend explained that many times children will go and play in the sea and return disoriented from the undertow and the dense crowds that line the beach. They will begin to wander in search of their family in the wrong direction and end up lost.

Solution: First person to find a lost child either hoists them up on their shoulders or walks hand in hand with them down the beach. The local crowd at the starting point is encouraged to commence a synchronized clap and this clap follows them as they walk down the shoreline. The attention of all beach goers is then gathered momentarily as the clap travels with the pair until the parental or guardian unit notices or is located.

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