Daily Archives: Friday, September 3, 2010

Trompo: Give it a whirl!

Ever spun a top? A real one made of wood, wrapped in string, and thrown to make it spin? In Chile it’s called a “trompo” and is popular with men of all ages…and certainly not as easy as it looks!

Chilean Trompo, or spinning top  ©M Snook

A spinning "trompo" or top at a typical Chilean fonda

The  sense of Chilenidad—Chile’s national identity—the collection of all that makes up a spirit of being Chilean—is composed of many different aspects, one of which is games, and one of the oldest is the trompo, a simple wooden cone-shaped yet rounded toy with a metal tip that is thrown so that it spins upright. Once you get the basic tossing down, you start with tricks, such as picking it up to spin on the palm of your hand or even throwing it so that it lands—spinning—in your hand without ever having touched the ground. Continue reading

September: the month of Chilenidad

September: the month of Chilenidad

Chilenidad. What a great word. It means “Chileanness,” and Chileans take it very seriously indeed. And September, the month of Independence Day on September 18 (also taken very seriously) AKA “El Dieciocho” and Fiestas Patrias (ditto) and especially this one, the 200th 18th, makes for some pretty good reasons to think just exactly what Chilenidad is all about.

Chilean Flag banners in Andean Town © M Snook

A small Andean town deep in the Elqui Valley prepares for "18" with Chilean flag banners

Wikipedia (c’mon, admit it, we all use it!) says Chilenidad is: Continue reading