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Uruguay

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

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Uruguay may be a small country but it has impressive artistic and literary traditions. International acclaim has greeted artists such as Pedro Figari, a painter of bucolic scenes, and José Enrique Rodó, arguably the nation's greatest writer. Theatre is popular and playwrights such as Mauricio Rosencof - a former Tupamaros founder tortured by the military government in the 1970s - are prominent in cultural life. Most of the country's musical and dance traditions (folk songs, polkas, waltzes, tangos, etc) came from Europe but developed local hybrids. Football is a national obsession. Uruguayans who profess a religion are almost exclusively Roman Catholic, but the Church and state are officially separate. Other religions have made small inroads: There is a small Jewish community in Montevideo, several evangelical Protestant groups and traces of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.
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