Evita: Political ideology or religion

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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After spending a day learning first hand the still very passionate sentiment towards a woman that influenced so much and yet never held an official title, I am left just as confused about who she was as when I arrived.  Viewing movies and photos of Evita´s life ahs helped me develop the opinion that of those who support and adore her it is more than respect for a political leader it is a religion.  By those who love her she is worshipped and idolized as a saint and those that hate her she is despised.  Even after her death she was mummified and preserved as if her body was too holy for the natural decay of death.  Even her enemies realized the power she held over the people.  When the military took power and came into possession of her body, they could not destroy it.  If they had destroyed the body they would have created the unique position of making her a martyr after her death.  Evita is worshipped as a person and as a symbol.  At the CGT headquarters our guide broke into tears describing the first time he saw her.  He didn’t even meet her that day and was joust one of millions of people in the rally, and yet he felt so connected to her he was moved to tears at the thought of the memory.  A region so strong and deeply rooted in Catholicism does not even show this much emotion for God. Is it because they were actually witness and present for Evita or did the simply make some intimate and unique connection with this woman so strong that it ahs become a significant movement in their culture.  On alters and shrines in Argentinean homes, supporters of Evita place photos of her right next to Jesus and Mary suggesting that perhaps this is not something solely political but rather the love for Evita had created an almost religion named Evitaism.

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Since arriving in Argentina, I have yet to experience that overwhelming sensation that takes a hold of you when you are abroad for an extended period of time called homesickness. Perhaps it’s because I have been eating nothing but pizza or the bars and parks have a familiar atmosphere or maybe it’s the positive attitude which is projected from the locals.  The language barrier is perhaps the first thing I noticed arriving here in Argentina, but the struggle for coherent communication is unlike the frustrating and often impossible fight to communicate with Europeans.  In Europe, especially France, there is an almost an arrogance of the people towards their language.  Europeans a lot of the time will simply refuse to talk to you unless you can speak anything to them other then English.  Also, there is no attempt to understand or patience involved in this complicated dance of battling languages.  However, in Argentina there have been several occasions in which an Argentinean has taken the time to figure out what I was trying to say and then go out of their way to answer my question or show me directions.  I was talking to Adele and she says that Argentineans love foreigners because their origins also stem from immigrants. In Argentina, a hostility or xenophobia towards outsiders or tourists simply does not exist, which not only makes it easier to get around an experience the city, but also leaves a visitor feeling less homesick.