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Essay On Chilean Culture

The population of the country of Chile is almost 16 million people. The majority of the people live in the dense cities that lie in-between the two mountainous regions. Only 16% of the population brave the rural mountains of this narrow natural resource rich country. The indigenous people (7% of the countries population) make up almost half of the portion of the mountainous population. This section of the population is extremely culture rich in comparison to the rest of the country which is Mestizo (a mix of indigenous and European decent).

They have had lots of culture mixing as it includes European culture from more than ten different countries. This has caused them to turn a blind-eye on race and cultural history. Though they remain very strongly nationalistic. The national flag and national anthem are the strongest identifying symbols for the people of Chile. The flag has two horizontal bands of white and red, representing the Andean snow and the Indians’ blood fallen in their heroic struggle against the Spanish invaders.

The flag also has a blue square at the flag-pole end of the white band with a white five-pointed star in the center. The blue represents Chile’s clear blue sky while the white star was the Araucanian Indians coat of arms used in their battlefield banners. The national day is September 18, which commemorates the country’s declaration of independence from Spain, in 1810. This is a day of celebration and national unity in which Chileans enjoy traditional food and folklore-type music and honor the people who died for independence.

They also dance their national dance called the “cueca”, eat empanadas and drink red wine. Dance is another aspect of the rich Chilean culture, the national dance is especially important. The movements of the dance are said to replicate those of a chicken and rooster, with the partners flirtatiously dancing in an imaginary circle. The couples do not touch, but they do move towards and away from each other. They also clap in time with the music and wave handkerchiefs in the air.

Dancers typically wear traditional dress – the women in a flowered dress with an apron, the men in riding pants and a poncho. The Chilean people have a history in asserting their independence, and they are proud of it. Spanish is the primary language for the country, although indigenous languages also continue to be spoken as well. The national motto is in Spanish and it reads “Por la razon o la fuerza” – which means “By reason or force. ” The Mapuche (indigenous people) lived in the fertile valleys of Southern Chile at the time of the Spanish arrival.

They lived in small clusters with a culture based mainly on hunting and gathering. Farming the land was not necessary for most, and the work there was got evenly divided among the genders. Their division along family clans was both their saving grace and their downfall. As they remained divided and separate from other civilizations, they were unable to develop further. However, it was this separation that made it impossible for the Spanish to destroy their culture in one blow the way they had done previously in Peru.

Each time the Spanish put down a Mapuche uprising another would come out from the woods and attack. The conflict between the Spaniards and the Mapuche lasted for some 300 years, and is known as the Arauco War. A young man is supposed to look for a women who is in the immediate community, which is usually a religious based community. This means that they participate in endogamy, but it is not required. Chilean dating is influenced by a fairly conservative religious attitude, pre-marital sex is considered inappropriate in Chile and few couples will live together prior to marriage.

Although, dating is common it seems to have a different dynamic than dating takes on in many other more western countries. Young men in Chile tend to be “mothered” to an extreme degree and when it comes to dating it often takes on a similar relationship. Once married these relationships do not change very much as women often go above and beyond to take care of their husband in domestic situations and men are supposed to support their wives both financially and emotionally. Divorce is not allowed in Chile, so couples almost always remain together for life with their growing families.

The Chilean family tends to end with two children, although some couples only have one and others have more kids. An agricultural family may have a very large family to help the head of the house with the many responsibilities of a farm. The most common type of Chilean farm is a vineyard with goats for goat cheese. Chile is known for its wine and fish specialties. Chile is hard to miss when looking at a map. Despite its great length, the country of Chile, from north to south, is united through its rich culture and history of defeating the European conquerors.

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