50 Facts about Chile through the Eyes of a Russian Woman
Asya Zemlyanskaya @parabailarlabam writes: I lived in Chile for a year and wrote 50 facts about this Latin American country for Factroom.
1. Chileans are very affectionate and always kiss each other on the cheek when they meet and say goodbye, sometimes several times. Even if the conversation lasted two minutes. They will kiss you regardless of your gender, age or social status.
2. There are many variations of where the name of the country of Chile came from. Even the Chileans themselves can’t choose one generally accepted version. According to one theory, the name comes from the language of the indigenous Aymaru tribe and means “the place where the earth ends” (which makes sense). According to another, in Quechua it means “cold,” or “cold. But certainly not because of its shape – chili pepper – as many people think.
3. In Chile, there is nothing shameful about sitting on the ground/floor anywhere.
4. it’s also okay to go inside without taking your shoes off, even if there’s a storm, thunderstorm, and hurricane outside and your shoes are wet and dirty.
5. Chileans are big patriots. Their main holiday is Fatherland Day (Fiestas Patrias), celebrated on September 18 and usually lasts a week. On this day it is customary to drink young grape wine (chicha) from a bullhorn, eat traditional pies – empanadas, go to stadiums to “admire” the rodeo and dance the national dance – cueku.
6. September 18 is the only day of the year when the authorities officially allow drinking in public places, which makes it better not to appear there.
7. There is another interesting fact associated with this day. According to the official law, on September 18, all buildings must have a national flag on them. If there is no flag, you have to pay a fine. The enterprising Chileans hang flags out of windows, hang them on cars and sometimes even decorate pets with the national colors (we have seen it).
8. The population is very religious, 70% of Catholics. Therefore there are even more religious holidays than secular ones. And everyone has a rest on them.
9. On weekends, Chilean cities die out: many stores are closed, right down to the newspaper and cigarette stalls.
10. Chile is 24 times smaller in area than Russia. And the population of this country is about equal to the population of Moscow with its region.
11. the favorite food of young and not very Chileans – “Completos” – peculiar hot dogs of incredible size, which in addition to the traditional bread and sausages include chopped diced tomatoes, avocado sauce and mayonnaise. Mustard can be added if desired. The locals take great pride in their dish, and God forbid you should say it’s a regular hotdog – oh no, it’s a Complemento.
12. In general, avocados (called palta in Chilean dialect, not aguacate as in other Latin American countries) are a special guest in their daily diet. There is almost always a small clay cup with grated avocado of a suspiciously green color on the table, and they smear it on everything. To keep the avocado from losing its color and darkening, they add a drop of milk to it (but that’s just a Chilean hostess secret).
13. In Chile, as in all of Latin America, there is an unimaginable cult of meat and soccer.
14. It must be said that the majority of the population is overweight. This is especially noticeable in people with low income. Complimentary meals, French fries, and meat in enormous quantities cannot be called a healthy diet. And they’re usually washed down with Coca-Cola or Sprite.
15. Chileans consider themselves a “Country of poets” and are very offended if their favorite Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Nicanor Parra, etc. are not really known abroad. But this is mostly the older generation.
16. By the way, the Chilean poetess and Nobel Prize winner for literature, Gabriela Mistral, is even depicted on the 5000 peso bill. That’s how they honor their poets.
17. The younger generation hardly reads at all. And no wonder: books in Chile are very, very expensive (a paperback can cost more than 500 rubles).
18. In the “Land of Poets”, the school does not teach literature. Instead – the subject “Language and Communication. Also mandatory in high school are such subjects as religion, philosophy, art (music or drawing at choice). They draw and sing, I should say, until the graduation.
19. In Chilean schools there are 12 classes, and you can repeat as many times as you want. This is why people sometimes finish school at the age of 19 or 20.
20. Maximal mark – 7, and in their analog of our Unified State Exam in Mathematics there are the most banal problems on addition and subtraction of fractions (taking into account that our graduates have to pant over trigonometry, etc.).
21. Education in Chile is weak and, at the same time, the most expensive in Latin America. There is no state-funded admission to universities, which constantly provokes student riots. For example, this summer students demonstrated their right to study for free with banners in the streets, which made the government very nervous.
22. All kinds of rallies and protests are common. Today the students strike, tomorrow – the workers, and the day after tomorrow – the Mapuche Indians will block the center of the city with a demand for independence (200 years ago as they demand, and all in vain).
The Mapuche (or Araucan) Indians are the only people in Latin America who have not been conquered by either the Incas or the Spaniards.
24. Their language, Mapudungun, has no written language. It is true that now in souvenir markets you can find improvised “dictionaries” and phrasebooks from the Indian language to Spanish or English, but hardly anyone buys them.
25. The araucaria is the main tree and symbol of southern Chile. The seeds of the araucaria, piñones, are roasted and eaten; they taste similar to chestnuts. They are also used to make all sorts of ornaments.
26. Chileans mostly have a rather poor command of foreign languages. An English translator is a rare and well-paid profession. “Why learn languages,” they say, “when all the countries around you speak Spanish, and it’s a long way to the United States?
2 7. Their families are traditionally large. It is normal to have 5-6 children in a family, but an only child is very rare. The advantage of this for Chileans is that they can travel around the country without spending money on hotels – everywhere they can find relatives to stay with.
28. Most Chileans live in houses, not apartments. There is no central heating in homes, and the main object in winter, around which the family gathers, is the fireplace.
29. Having a housekeeper and/or nanny in Chile is not only for the rich, but also for people who are quite middle class and sometimes below average. Large houses need to be cleaned and five children looked after. More often than not, Indian or Peruvian/Bolivian women, who are local guest workers, go to work as housekeepers.
30. Chile is the only country in Latin America without poisonous snakes. .
31. But there are penguins there. Yes, yes, you can see penguins and seals in the south of Chile.
32. Chile claims most of Antarctica and even considers it its own region. The population of the province of Chile Antarctica in winter is 80 people.
33. Paradoxically, in this small country, besides the ice of Antarctica, there is also the driest desert in the world, the Atacama.
34. Sometimes the Atacama blooms in the literal sense of the word – after the rarest rains the desert is covered with flowers and attracts many tourists.
35. However, during the usual dry season, the Atacama landscape resembles the lunar landscape – the world’s largest observatory (Las Campanas) is located there, and moon rovers and rovers are tested.
36. Chile is generally considered a zone of paranormal activity and is one of the ten “most haunted by aliens” and other unidentified objects.
37. Robinson Crusoe Island does exist – it is part of the Juan Fernandez Archipelago and belongs to Chile. It was the story of the Scottish navigator Alexander Selkirk, who lived alone on the island for 4 years and 4 months, that Daniel Defoe took as the basis of his novel Robinson Crusoe.
38. Another famous Chilean island, Easter Island, is considered the most isolated inhabited place on Earth. There is only one airport and one marina.
39. The main income of the Rapa Nui, the inhabitants of Easter Island, is tourism. True, the prices of airfare, hotels and tours, to put it bluntly, are a bit exorbitant. But if you have the opportunity – go, you will not regret it.
40. Unique Chilean delicacy – palm honey. It tastes nothing special, but locals are very proud of it. It is made from the juice of Chilean palm trees.
41. Chile also has amazingly delicious ice cream (I don’t know what it has to do with that). It has the advantage of a huge number of different flavors and giant portions. A common sight in the summer – Chileans sitting in flocks on the lawns and consuming ice cream.
42. Movies in cinemas are in the original language with Spanish subtitles. Exceptions – children’s cartoons.
43. They have no stray cats at all, but a lot of stray dogs.
44. Many Chileans still believe that communism exists in Russia. They don’t know at all about the stereotype of “a bear pacing the streets”, but the permafrost and vodka are recognizable features of our homeland in their eyes.
45. Chileans are also very fond of the so-called “Russian Circus. A couple of years ago, a visiting Mexican troupe with a couple or three gymnasts from the former Soviet Union so impressed the locals that people who have nothing in common with Russians and the circus are touring under the “Russian Circus” trend. It is sad, but everyone is buying it.
46. Chile has its own “gopniks” – Flaite. But in my opinion, they are more dangerous and antisocial than ours – so in the evening alone is better not to walk (despite the fact that Chile is one of the safest countries in South America).
47. The national alcoholic drink of Chileans is Pisco grape vodka. Although its origin is rather dubious and attributed to Peru, Chileans revere it as their national drink. And it is another stumbling block between the two countries.
48. Chileans adore Chinese food but Japanese food is not very popular with them.
49. The country is occasionally shaken. The great Chilean earthquake in 1960 was the strongest in the history of observations and the event in February 2010 reduced the time of day on a microsecond, and shifted the earth’s axis, which is also not weak.
50. Not all Chileans are typical swarthy Latinos. Again in the south you can find the descendants of Germans, Englishmen, etc. – blue-eyed, blond Chileans. True, the farther north, toward the border with Peru and Bolivia, the less chance you have of seeing them.
1. The first thing you should know when you come to Malta is that if you are not an EU citizen, then at passport control you will be scanned with a special device with fingerprints from both hands. After this procedure, the desire to commit an offense or a crime in Malta disappears. I think this is an excellent way of preventing crime. 2. Surprise, everywhere in Malta they use Euro sockets. In some hotels along with them, if you are lucky, there is one socket familiar to us. So… Read more…
Chile: hard facts about this amazing and distant country
1.The Republic of Chile is one of the most developed countries of Latin America.
2. Chile is the southernmost country of the American continent. Its territory occupies a long strip of the Pacific coast, which is considered the longest in the world. Most of the country is unpopulated because of its topography.
3. most of the population lives in the north of the country, and the south will delight tourists and locals with pristine nature. Among which stands out the Andes Mountains and many places untouched by man.
4.There are many different versions of the toponym of the name Chile. Even the Chileans can not identify the most accurate of them. One version is that the name of the state comes from the language of the Aymaru tribe and translates as “the place where the Earth ends”. According to another popular version, in the Quechua language Chile means “cold”. And so called the country by South American Indians because of the snowy Andes.
Spanish is the official language here; most or all Chileans speak Spanish, although dozens of Indian languages are spoken in Chile.
The capital of Chile is Santiago.
6. Santiago, the capital of Chile, is one of the largest cities in South America. It is home to more than 5 million people. The city is located at the foot of the Andes, so it has very picturesque scenery: a modern city with skyscrapers on a background of snow-capped mountains.
7. Chile is 24 times smaller in area than Russia. And the population of this country is about equal to the population of Moscow with its region.
8. The Mapuche Indians, the only tribe in South America that has never been conquered, live in Chile. They have their own language, which has no written language. This tribe still maintains its independence from everyone, including the Chilean government.
9. About two-thirds of the people of Chile are Catholics. The rest are followers of traditional Indian religions.
10. Chileans mostly have a rather poor command of foreign languages. An English translator is a rare and well-paid profession. “Why learn languages,” they say, “when all the countries around you speak Spanish, and the United States is far away?”
11. the territory of the country is almost entirely on a coastal plain, bounded to the east by the powerful ridges of the Andes mountain system.
12. Chile has the best service in comparison with other Latin American countries, and its crime rate is the lowest.
13. Chilean schoolchildren up to eighth grade can travel free of charge on any public transport.
14. Chilean schools have 12 classes, and you can repeat any number of times. That is why they sometimes finish school at age 19 or 20.
15. Chile has a seven-point grading system and, compared to Russian pupils, the level of preparation is very low; the final examinations are not difficult at all.
The 300-meter skyscraper Gran Torre Santiago in Santiago.
16. The largest building in Santiago, Chile and South America as a whole is the 300-meter skyscraper Gran Torre Santiago. It was built over 7 years and opened in 2013. The cost of the skyscraper is estimated at 1 billion dollars. The building is the largest shopping center on the continent, as well as two hotels and offices. It also has an observation deck that allows a 360-degree view of Santiago from above.
17.In addition to the Gran Torre Santiago, there are several other skyscrapers in Chile. It is also home to the largest swimming pool in the world and the largest structure of its kind.
18. The most important subjects in Chile are: religion, philosophy, and art.
19. The importation of any foodstuffs into Chile is strictly forbidden.
20. A cult of Chilean cuisine is cooking meat on coals. Kompletos, a counterpart of a hot dog, only of a larger size, is very popular. In addition to the traditional ingredients of bread and sausage, tomatoes, avocado sauce or mayonnaise are added to the dish.
Lake Chungara in Chile is the highest lake on the planet
21. The country has the highest lake on the planet, Chungara Lake, which is 4,570 meters above sea level.
22. Chile is considered the safest among Latin American countries. Nevertheless, it is better not to walk alone in the city streets after dark.
23. There are many Chileans who adore Chinese and Japanese food, but they don’t like it all that much.
24. The Chileans are very patriotic. Their main holiday is Fatherland Day (Fiestas Patrias) celebrated on September, 18 and usually lasts a week. On this day it is customary to drink young grape wine (chicha) from a bull’s horn, eat traditional empanadas, go to stadiums to “admire” the rodeo and dance the national dance – cueka.
25. According to the official law, on September 18, all buildings must have the national flag on them. If there is no flag, you pay a fine. Enterprising Chileans hang flags out of windows, hang them on cars, and sometimes even decorate pets with national colors – and it happens.
26. The araucaria is the main tree and symbol of southern Chile. The seeds of the araucaria, piñones, are roasted and eaten; they taste like chestnuts. They are also used to make all kinds of jewelry.
27. Chileans consider themselves a “Country of poets” and are very offended if their favorite Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Nicanor Parra, etc. are not really known abroad. But this is mostly the older generation.
28. Chileans put portraits not only of presidents but also of poets on their banknotes. Poetry is truly in vogue here. And this despite the fact that paper books are very expensive here.
29. Not all Chileans are typical swarthy Latinos. Again in the south you can find the descendants of Germans, Englishmen, etc. – blue-eyed, blond Chileans. True, the farther north, to the border with Peru and Bolivia, the less chance of seeing them.
30. Higher education in Chile is expensive and of poor quality. There is no budget form.
31. Chile includes the world-famous Easter Island, which is home to world-famous stone statues whose origin is still under study. The indigenous population of the island Rapa Nui live solely on tourism.
32. Chile has amazingly delicious ice cream. It has the advantage of a huge number of different flavors and giant portions. A common sight in summer is Chileans sitting in flocks on the lawns and consuming ice cream.
33. A unique Chilean delicacy – palm honey. It tastes nothing special, but the locals are very proud of it. It is made from the juice of the Chilean palm tree.
34. Chileans are very fond of avocados. They use the fruit in combination with any food, and also make a sauce from it. During any celebration, a glass of grated avocado is placed on the table. The Chileans spread this mixture on any food.
35. Ironically, in this small country, besides the ice of Antarctica, there is also the driest desert in the world – the Atacama. Sometimes the Atacama blooms in the literal sense of the word – after the rarest rains the desert is covered with flowers and attracts many tourists.
Las Campañas Observatory in the Atacama Desert
36. In Chile’s Atacama Desert is located the world’s largest observatory Las Campañas. Also on its territory are tests of the moon rovers and rovers of Mars.
37. Robinson Crusoe Island really does exist – it is part of the Juan Fernandez Archipelago and belongs to Chile. It was the story of the Scottish navigator Alexander Selkirk, who lived alone on the island for 4 years and 4 months, that Daniel Defoe took as the basis of his novel “Robinson Crusoe”.
38. Another famous Chilean island, Easter Island, is considered the most isolated inhabited place on Earth. There is only one airport and one marina.
39. Films in the country’s cinemas are broadcast in their original language with Spanish subtitles, except for children’s movies.
40. Most Chileans live in houses rather than apartments. There is no central heating in the houses, and the main object in winter, around which the family gathers, is the fireplace.
The highest volcano in the world is Nevado Ojos del Salado in Chile
41. Chile is home to the highest volcano in the world – Nevado Ojos del Salado with a height of 6,891 meters.
42. Earthquakes in Chile are so frequent that most of them are simply ignored. The strongest earthquake in recorded history, by the way, also happened here. The great Chilean earthquake of 1960 was the strongest ever, and the one in February 2010 shortened the time of day by microseconds and shifted the Earth’s axis, which is also not weak.
43. Chile is the only country in Latin America without poisonous snakes. But there are poisonous spiders in the north of the country.
44. There are no stray cats in Chile, but there are many stray dogs.
45. Many Chileans have housekeepers. Parents often cannot cope with a large number of children. Babysitters are also found in middle- and low-income families. Mostly foreign Peruvian and Bolivian women work as caregivers.
46. Chilean poet Gabriella Mistral was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1945. She is even depicted on the 5,000 peso bill.
47. Chileans were among the first in South America to go to the Olympics.
48. Many Chileans still believe there is communism in Russia. They do not know about the stereotype of “a bear walking down the street”, but the permafrost and vodka are recognized features of our Motherland in their eyes.
49. It is very cold in the south of Chile. There are even seals and penguins.
50. The Chileans are great soccer fans, they all, regardless of age and gender, support the national team.