The Oriental Republic of Uruguay (note that in this case oriental means "eastern" and refers to the country's position east of the Uruguay River and nothing to do with the Orient[note 1]) is a country situated on the east coast of South America, sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina. The capital is Montevideo, which is unique in being
the deathplace of the Monteradio star named after the video, before the video was invented.
They play a bit of footie and have won the World Cup twice, but apart from the German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee being scuttled in the River Plate, which must have really annoyed the harbour master, nothing much exciting happens there.
They've even managed to avoid having an interesting tyrant such as Augusto Pinochet, or Stroessner, and have never invaded the Falkland Islands, though during the military dictatorship (1973–1985) Uruguay had the world's highest number of political prisoners per capita.  They did have a communist President named José Mujica from 2010–2015, but he was elected and so wasn't that bad. In fact, he was actually pretty awesome, donating 90% of his salary to charity, legalising weed and allowing abortion to be legalised.  They're also pretty good at soccer. (Just don't get bitten!)
Not that anyone cares.
Uruguay is widely considered to be the most secular country of Latin America. Church and state are strictly separate and 15 to 40 per cent of the population is non-religious, depending on which source you prefer. As a result, Uruguay's social policies are somewhat more liberal than the rest of the continent.
- In 2008 Uruguay was the first Latin American country to introduce civil unions for same-sex couples.
- In 2012 abortion was de-criminalized and the death rate from abortions dropped to zero. This made Uruguay the second country in South America to have legalized abortion (the other country being Guyana).
- In 2013 Uruguay passed a law allowing growth, possession and buying of cannabis, becoming the first country to fully legalize sale and growing of marihuana.
So, hey, a nice place to be young and chill.
Not to be confused with
- Whose name in turn referred to the fact that it was east of the Western world that came up with the term, AKA the Occident. Blame the fact that languages change over time.