While my family in the northern hemisphere is either hunkering down for a quiet evening at home or trying to figure out how to combine New Years’ finery with boots and gloves and snow shovels and ice scrapers, I am happy to report that here in Santiago the sun is shining, it’s 27º (Celsius! that’s 80ºF to the rest of you) at 6:30 in the evening, and we have a nice night ahead with family and friends, complete with a bit of fireworks at midnight.
For more on typical Chilean New Year’s celebrations see Happy New Year a la Chilena, but read on to brush up on the fun list of traditions (some might cal them superstitions, but let’s not go there)… Continue reading →
Click on the image to download a free copy of Celebrating Latin America at Ground Level (Nov 2010)
Steven Roll, of Travel Ojos, just released his first e-book: Celebrating Latin America at Ground Level, a collection of tales from 29 expats and travel writers on just about every imaginable aspect of life in Latin America, from food and drink, to life and love, to family and work and leisure, to getting things done and just hanging around, to speaking (or trying to) to playing and dancing, and most of all, just enjoying this wonderful region, from Mexico to Patagonia. Continue reading →
Posted in Everyday Life, Expat living, Travel
Tagged culture, customs, family, food, Language, Latin America, popular culture, Steven Roll, Travel Ojos
**This post was “Freshly Pressed” on November 18, 2010.
Chile’s alternative news weekly, The Clinic (firme al pueblo, por supuesto) is a master at attention-grabbing and deliciously irreverent headlines that require a very good understanding not only of Chilean Spanish, but of Chile’s current events. If you’re a foreigner here in Chile, make a point of regularly checking out the covers at your local newsstand—and give yourself a big pat on the back if you get the headlines—it’s a sure sign you’re making progress on your cultural and linguistic Chilensis.
English humor seems to be more language-based than Spanish is. A lot is based on puns, which aren’t very frequent in Spanish, but they do come up from time to time, and The Clinic is one of the best sources for finding them. I spotted this cover a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t resist a giggle. Continue reading →
Posted in Everyday Life, Language, Personajes chilenos, Politics
Tagged Chile, Chilean Spanish, chilensis, cultura popular, humor, Language, mining, popular culture, Trapped Miners
El "Manicero." Old-time peanut vendor.
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Yes, I know that Viva Chile, Mierda is an unlikely title for a post about a country one loves, but it’s an expression that truly bears comment—especially since Chilean President Sebastián Piñera himself used it on camera recently when he announced that all 33 miners were alive and well 700 meters beneath the ground 17 days after the mine they are in collapsed.
A Chilean flag hangs from the remains of a house in Constitución destroyed by the tsunami that followed the February 2010 earthquake
I’ve heard this expression a zillion times, but have to confess that I never really thought much about it, and certainly did not understand it until these past couple of weeks… Continue reading →
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.
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 →
Grande Chile! Chile is now 2 for 2 in the first round of the World Cup!
Diario La Tercera on-line: "Chile beats Switzerland and now one of the World Cup Top 4"
Who knew I liked fútbol? Certainly not me–I had no idea! But there I was this morning on my feet, cheering for Chile, yelling at the referee, complaining about all the theatrics the Swiss were pulling, and jumping for joy when Chile scored the goal that won them their second game in this, the first round of the 2010 World Cup. Continue reading →
Today, June 5, is an important day in Chilean history. What’s that? Not on the official list you say? No pu (as we say in buen chileno), it’s not. There are “official” important days—holidays and such—and then there are days that live long in the hearts of the people. Sure, not everyone can recite the exact date, but there are few who claim no memory of the event.
Let’s be more specific. June 5, 1991. Got it now? Still got nuthin? If you’re in Chile, ask a taxi driver, the person in the kiosko (newsstand), the guy on the street, heck, the guy sitting next to you wherever you are right now… watch them get almost teary-eyed with emotion and pride. Continue reading →