In 2009, Tango was declared universal heritage of humanity.
The idea that something can belong to each and every one of us is one of the advances in human history. The words "humanity", "human rights", "universal heritage" indicate that a future is still possible for all of us.
The tango was created on the banks of the Rio de la Plata in Argentina and Uruguay. It is part of the argentine identity, even something they are proud. It is the contribution they have given to the world and now everyone in it can enjoy it.
However, despite the tango was created in Argentina, it was not made only by Argentine, but by people of different nationalities who had to immigrate to Buenos Aires. They also participated in the creation of tango. Each brought something of his land:
African people: They gave the word: "Tango". From far away in space and time, in Africa, people gathered for celebrations, sometimes religious, others simply festive. Such meetings had the name Tango (the place where people gather to sing, drink, share, celebrate, dance).
Slavery, one of the greatest stupidities of the human being, exiled them from their native Africa, but they brought with themselves the word to Buenos Aires.
Argentine: By 1850 in Buenos Aires, some curious Argentines began to attend the afro american people meetings (who were free at that time) in the city and started to copy their dance, moves; argentine allowed themselves to play and create a new choreography, then in this way it was born the tango dance.
Argentine brought their folk music from the countryside, they took the influence of the Spanish zarzuela and African rhythms, so the tango music began to be born.
But a soul was necessary, and still missing.
Bandoneon from Saxony
The soul was far from Buenos Aires as well. By 1850 a person from Saxony, Carlsfeld, wanted to create an instrument capable of supplanting the church organs to take their sacred music in the streets during celebrations. Its melancholy sound, full of personality, was thought to God. Its name was Concertina. It was not succeed among the people, their fate was far away. Some unknown German immigrant, those who abounds in the history of mankind, whose name will remain anonymous but whose contribution to history was of utmost importance, brought the instrument to Buenos Aires. Thus the tango found its soul. "Where this instrument is achieved?" asked Argentines. In Germany, it was marketed by a man named Heinrich Band, musician and violinist, who had a musical instruments shop. He began to get purchase orders from a distant country called Argentina. The legend says it was necessary to call more people to create more instruments, so it was how its name was born: Band + die Union, Bandunion, Bandonion and later bandoneon.
It was born to God, it received the name of the men and became the soul of the tango. The tango had a soul, dance and music, but still needed interpreters.
By 1890, thousands of immigrants came to Buenos Aires, including Italians who were very clever musicians, they found the tango in its initial stage. They realized they could give something to the tango: The human soul. They had something to say, something to express: nostalgia for their land, which was always away forever. The tango was tinged with new sounds.
It was danced by the poor, immigrants, prostitutes, ruffians, frowned upon for many people in Buenos Aires, but the tango was rich in soul and quality.
The soul of tango
And again, out. The history repeats itself. People who left Buenos Aires and undertook a trip to Europe introduced a new rhythm to the French people: "tango is called, it comes from Argentina". It was a success, it was danced there, and throughout Europe until the First World War. In Argentina due to the success in France, it was accepted by all the social classes, then, it was when everyone danced.
The history of tango will continue with moments of greater height and others of less significance in cycles of popularity, but today is performed and dance all over the world.
Just as its main instrument bears the name of the union of all, (Band-union), tango could be called “Tango- Union”, because it was created with the contribution of all. It is the specific example that something good can happen if people of different nationalities come together to make something in common. Because as Argentine culture, tango became a national heritage but it is also universal heritage of humanity.
The tango is a living example that a future is possible if all cultural differences are incorporated creatively.