Chilean Culture

Do's and Don'ts

Do’s

  • Engage in discussions on topics such as sports, cuisine, travel and the natural landscapes of Chile. These are often welcome topics of conversation, particularly because Chileans have increasing opportunities to go abroad.
  • When conversing with a Chilean companion, inquire into the well-being of their family, spouse, children, etc. Family life is considerably important to Chileans.
  • Be respectful of Catholicism and Christianity more broadly as it forms the basis and reasoning for many Chileans’ opinions.

 

Don’ts

  • Do not be offended if you are called a ‘gringo’ or ‘gringa’. This term is generally used not as an insult, but as a nickname towards foreigners of European descent.
  • Avoid raising controversial subjects such as Pinochet, politics and human rights issues, unless they are introduced by your Chilean counterpart. These topics are generally inappropriate for small talk as they are highly emotional and divisive issues among Chileans.
  • Do not assume all Hispanic and peoples are the same. There are many different countries and cultures across Central and South America that vary in many aspects. Thus, avoid homogenising Chileans with people from other areas of the continent. 
  • Avoid referring to the United States as “America”. If you are going to do so, specify it as “North American”. All of South America is also technically American and Chileans can find it frustrating when the term is reduced to refer to just those from the USA. 

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