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.
Wikipedia (c’mon, admit it, we all use it!) says Chilenidad is:
“The term used in Chile to describe the set of cultural expressions that have originated or been adopted in Chilean territory and whose use has lasted over time, been transmitted from one generation to the next, and that now make up the national identity.”
I’d like to spend this month exploring Chilenidad here at Cachando Chile. So, barring work crises and other factors beyond my control, I’ll be rummaging around in the Chileanest of all Chilean things that contribute to the sense of national identity, to Chilenedad… Sure, that’s what Cachando Chile is about all the time, but let’s get down to the nitty gritty and find out what Chileans think about what makes them Chilean.
We’ll look at food, and symbols, and beliefs, and language, and traditions, and customs, and fiestas, and celebrations, and games, and music, and dances, and characters, and shared history, and wildlife, and anything else that I—make that WE—can come up with to define what is Chilean! That’s right—WE—I would REALLY love your suggestions!
So let’s start right now:
Are you Chilean? What does Chilenidad mean to you?
Are you a foreigner in Chile? What does Chilenidad mean to YOU?