Secret love-hearts shoved into pockets in the playground, dramatic outpourings of tear-stained teenager love letters, and that unrequited crush on the office hottie… The 14th of February has long been a day shaded with anticipation, trepidation, happiness, disappointment…

Whatever the outcome, Valentine’s day is a day for lovers. Strange then, you may muse, that in Latin America, a continent famed the world over for its Latin Lovers, the 14th of February has no significance whatsoever…

Dehouche investigates a little further into the Latino approach to love…

Of French descent, it is little wonder that the Portuguese colonizers who discovered Brazil did little to introduce St Valentine to the native culture. As compensation, Brazilians have invented a ‘Dia dos Namorados’, which translates as ‘The Day of the Girlfriend/Boyfriend’ and is held on the 12th of June. ‘Such discrimination’, you cry, against those poor single souls but, in truth, it just demonstrates that your typical Brazilian is never long between loves and can almost always sort one out in time. For those who don’t manage to conjure up a boyfriend, the following day offers consolation in the form of St Anthony’s day. Magic abounds as many single women perform rituals to the Patron Saint of Marriage to help them find a husband before the year is through.

Famed rivals in football, the Argentinians can certainly give their Brazilian counterparts a run for their money in the romance stakes.  While they are well famed for their passionate tango and lashings of ruby red Malbec, another talent that many of the men possess is the ability to make any woman blush with their catcalling, used on almost every woman that walks past, grandmothers not excluded. These range from the simple ‘Que hermosa que sos’ (How beautiful you are) to the more elaborate phrases, which can be roughly translated as ‘if I had a ruler I’d give you a 10’.  They can seem romantic at first and, on a day’s sightseeing, you could come home thinking you’re the next Gisele, but give it a few weeks and the fun begins to wear off. The Argentine’s seem to devote so much of their time to romancing, it’s hard to see when they had the time to learn those tricky tango moves!

Of General note: Common throughout South America are PDA‘s, or Public Displays of Affection: While the Brits may be known for their ‘stiff upper lips’ and lack of emotion, our Latin American brothers and sisters take it to another extreme. In restaurants, bars, shops, the beach…just about anywhere is considered fair game to throw yourself at your partner.  Much of this stems from the fact that Latin Americans will almost always live at home until they are married, and with strict catholic parents and a propensity for single beds, there is very little time for quality time with your other half.  Enter… The Love Motel.  While it would be misguided to say they lack the seedy undertones of their European counterparts, the Latin America love motel is an integral part of the culture and there is no shame in popping in for an extended lunch break.  At the top end of the scale, love motels rival the top hotels in luxury amenities, with outdoor pools, incredible views and your own dance floor.

So this Valentine’s day embrace your inner Latin lover or even better book a holiday to South America and come and find the real thing!






2 thoughts on “Undercover: The Latino Approach to Love

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Undercover: The Latino Approach to Love | dehouche -- Topsy.com

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