Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Chile has a very rich culture and is largely influenced by the European heritage from the very beginning of establishment of the country where its people are originated from. It has more than 15 millions of people in population. Majority of the Chileans, the largest group, are classified as the Mestizos – who are descended from marriage between the Spanish and the indigenous people, followed by the second largest group, the European, and smallest group, the indigenous group, mostly Mapuche. It is one of the most homogenous countries in South America.

Most Chileans are
Roman Catholics, which consisted nearly 80% and 10% of the population is Protestants. The Mapuche Indians have their own system of beliefs and the remaining populations are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or followers of the Baha’i faith. The religious played an important role in the social and political life. Most public schools in Chile are Roman Catholics schools. In addition, majority of the national holidays are religious in nature. Older generations of Chileans still celebrates saint’s day as much as their birthday celebrations.

Most Chileans dressed like North Americans though not as formally or informally. Generally, the Chileans only wore shorts when they are going to the beaches and nice jeans when they are out to shop. The men wear conservative suits for social and business purposes and the women wear suits and high heels for business purpose and dress for social event. However, teenagers are following the fashion trends in the United States. Traditional Chileans costume is wore by the huaso (horseman) only during festivals or rodeo, Chile’s national sport.

Traditional costume wore by Huaso

In Chilean culture, food has a very unique position. Usually Chileans take
4 meals a day: breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.

Breakfast or desayuno, is taken around 7 in the morning. It is a light meal where bread with butter/ jam accompanied by milk/ milo for the children and café con leche/ tea for the adults. Café con leche is actually half a cup of coffee mixed with half a cup of milk, sweeten to taste with sugar.

Lunch is the biggest meal in their daily life and is usually eaten between 1pm-2pm. Traditionally, lunch consisted two main dishes. The first dish is salad and the second dish will be generally more substantial meat dish accompanied with vegetables. In the past, businesses are closed between 1-3pm as to allow people to get home for lunch with their families; however, it has changed overtime where businesses open all day in the larger cities.

Afternoon tea named ‘once’ is usually taken at around 5pm. Bread and jam, sandwiches, pastries or cakes are served during once. It is typical for families to invite friends over to share once together. Once, which means ‘eleven’ and it came from the time that the British have their tea at 11am.

Dinner known as la comida is typically served between 8.30-9.00pm. It consisted of only one main dish which is substantial and usually foreigners would find it too heavy for dinner. The dish is often accompanied with wine from the Central Valley vineyard of Chile.

1 comment:

  1. Once is called that way no because of the british, but after the word "aguardiente", because it has eleven letters.

    Nice entry, it surprise me a lot :O