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Africans, 4 percent of the population, mainly in Montevideo, were imported as slaves to work in the ports, in the processing of meat and hides, and as servants. The prevalent language is a variety of Spanish known as Rioplatense or Platellano .
In rural areas, gauchesco/criollo, the creole dialect spoken by the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century gauchos, is still influential.
Because of the absence of mountains, all the regions are vulnerable to rapid changes in weather.
Grasslands and agricultural lands cover the majority of the country.
Most of the indigenous population was exterminated by the nineteenth century, and those who survived were assimilated.
The ethnic composition of the population is 90 percent European (predominantly Spanish and Italian), and 6 percent of the people are partly of Native American descent.
It is present in the four horizontal stripes of the flag that alternate with five white ones (a sun with a face in the upper corner also symbolizes independence).
It is also the color worn by the national soccer team.
Another important symbol is the historical figure of José Gervasio Artigas, who is considered the father of independence and political nationalism.There are also some limited extensions of gallery forests and palm tree savannas.The main cultural differences are related to rural (9 percent) versus urban populations (91 percent), and whether people live in the capital or the interior towns.The name "Uruguay" is a Guaraní word meaning "river of shellfish," or "river the uru birds come from." Uruguayans have a strong sense of national identity and patriotism.There are no alternative traditions or nationalities within the country. Uruguay is on the southeastern Atlantic coast of the Southern Cone of South America, bordering Argentina to the west and south and Brazil to the north.