The terotero bird is a common literary symbol for the audacious, bold, attentive, and vivacious nature of the gaucho.Another important symbol is the historical figure of José Gervasio Artigas, who is considered the father of independence and political nationalism.The country is divided into nineteen administrative departamentos, each with a capital town. About half of the population lives in the capital, Montevideo, and its metropolitan area.About half of the population lives in the capital, Montevideo, and its metropolitan area. The second largest city, Salto, has ninety thousand inhabitants. As a result of emigration, there could be as many people of Uruguayan descent living outside as inside the country.The gaucho image has become the embodiment of the national character.The idealized gaucho is strong, brave, loyal, proud but humble, honorable, generous, straightforward, clever, patient, wise but melancholic from hardship, and free and independent.The original gauchos were an equestrian ethnic group similar to North American cowboys and Ukrainian Cossacks.Cattle and horses introduced by the Spanish in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries multiplied in the grasslands and roamed freely over the land.
In rural areas, gauchesco/criollo, the creole dialect spoken by the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century gauchos, is still influential.
Soccer is the national sport and occupies a central place in the life of the nation.
The entire population is united behind the national combined team, but fans' allegiance is divided among the rival local teams (Peñarol and nacional are the most popular ones).
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.