Uruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay is a country located in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.3 million people, of whom 1.1 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area. An estimated 88% of the population is of European descent.

The folk and popular music of Uruguay shares with Argentina not only its gaucho roots but also the tango. One of the most famous tangos, La Cumparsita (1917), was written by the Uruguayan composer Gerardo Matos Rodríguez. The candombe is a folk dance performed at Carnival mainly by Uruguayans of African ancestry. The guitar is the preferred musical instrument; and, in a popular contest called the payada, two singers, each with a guitar, take turns improvising verses to the same tune. Numerous radio stations and musical events reflect the popularity of rock music and Caribbean genres known as música tropical (“tropical music”). Early classical music in Uruguay showed heavy Spanish and Italian influence, but since the 20th century a number of composers of classical music, including Eduardo Fabini, Vicente Ascone and Héctor Tosar, have made use of Latin American musical idioms.

Uruguayans are known to eat a lot of meat, such as asado. The parrillada (beef platter), chivito (a substantial steak sandwich), and pasta are the national dishes. The latter is due to Uruguay's many Italian immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Other Uruguayan dishes include morcilla dulce, a type of blood sausage cooked with ground orange fruit, orange peel and walnuts, and milanesa, a breaded veal cutlet similar to the German Wienerschnitzel. Snacks include olímpicos (club sandwiches), húngaras (spicy sausage in a hot dog roll), and masas surtidas (bite-sized pastries). Typical drinks include mate, tea, clericó (a mixture of white wine and fruit juice), medio y medio (part sparkling wine and part white wine), and red wine.

Uruguay was the first country to have reached, in 2009, full coverage of their primary students (and their teachers) population by the OLPC's (One Laptop Per Child) XO through the Plan Ceibal. Due to their telecommunication infrastructure, students from primary schools from all over the country are able to access the Internet and its corresponding huge resources base. The Plan Ceibal included training of primary teachers to use the XO system, to maximize results. This represented a total of 350,000 primary students and their 16,000 teachers.

Uruguians aged between 18-30 qualify for a Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand.


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