• travel guide
  • Travel Guides
  • Apps & eBooks
  • Community
  • Publish Apps
Travel Guide > South America > Chile

Chile People & Culture

  
 
Upload Photo     Upload Video

Customs

  • Although modern in many ways, Chile remains basically traditional. You will do far better if you do not openly denigrate or flout those traditions. People speak in conversational tones.

  • Unlike other countries in Latin America, the Chilean police force is admired for its honesty and competence. Report any complaints to the police the moment you receive them, including criminal activity. Bribing is not acceptable in Chile in contrast to the rest of Latin America, and you will likely get arrested if you attempt it.

  • Do not assume that your hosts in Chile will have a low opinion of Pinochet. May be a surprise, but his government still has many supporters, so be careful when raising the issue. Even if you want to talk other political subjects than Pinochet, people still can get very opinionated and even raise the tone when it comes to politics. Depending on your opinions, they can either call you "communist" or "fascist".

  • Chileans are very friendly people. Most of them will be willing to assist you with directions or advice in the street, bus stop, subway station, etc. Just use common sense to avoid danger.

  • Be careful: many people can speak and understand English, French, Italian or German, be polite.

  • Chileans hate arrogance. Be arrogant and you will have problems; be kind and everyone will try to help you.

  • Chileans will know that you are a foreigner no matter how good your Spanish is. Don't get upset if they call you "gringo" - most foreigners are called like that, it's not meant to be offensive.

  • If you are of black race or dark skinned, you might be called "negro" in a friendly way. This is by no means similar to the n-word. Most Chileans are not racist, but unlike other South American countries, nearly every person of african heritage is a foreigner.

  • Between 1879-1883 Chile fought a war against Peru and Bolivia over what is today the country's northern territory. Chile won against both countries but lost a portion of Patagonia since Argentina threatened to attack. Many years later, the Chilean people feel bitter about losing terrain in the south and proud over annexing what is today northern Chile. Bolivia still claims to get back that area, or at least, an "exit to the ocean" which has angered many Chileans and some express racist comments towards guest workers and illegal inmigrants from Peru and Bolivia. Ask as many questions as you want, but do not say that Peru or Bolivia has the right to the northern territory. It will make you hated amongst people and they will think that you are a "stupid foreigner" who has just read one side of the story or simply foreign propaganda.

  • A few Chileans of German heritage (mostly in the south) are rather proud of being German. Some knowledge in the German language is useful here. Chile has also a 500.000-strong Palestinian community.




Users for Chile People & Culture
1 0 0
Guru
The Guru

You receive points for adding & updating information
and for replying to Discussions.

You become the Guru if you are the user with
the most points for the place.
 
WikitravelUsers
Wikitrave...
has 1 points for Chile People & Culture.
 
has helped
0 people with his Replies.

Make it Happen!

Our service for you - your travel checklist:

  1. Read our online guides
  2. Find a cheap flight
  3. Book a nice hotel
  4. Get travel insurance
    - even during your trip -

...and have fun!