Chilean Culture


  • Greetings in Chile are very important because they emphasise that an individual is acknowledged and welcomed.
  • When greeting someone in a formal setting or for the first time, people typically shake hands with those of the same gender. However, this can vary between social classes.
  • The ‘abrazo’ is the most common greeting among friends and family. This consists of a handshake and a hug. Among family and friends they are not so close to, they will simply give a kiss on the right cheek.
  • When male friends perform an abrazo, they may lightly slap each other’s back when hugging.
  • The abrazo is repeated with each individual when one leaves a small social gathering.
  • Men will often wait for a woman to extend her hand before shaking it.
  • Direct eye contact is also important when greeting someone.
  • Try to greet the head of the household or the most senior person first as a sign of respect.
  • Address a person by their title if you know it. If no title exists, then simply use "Señor” for men or “Señora” for women followed by their surname.
  • First names are used among friends and family. Wait until invited to move to a first-name basis before addressing your counterpart by their first name.
  • When addressing older people with whom you have a personal relationship, it is common to refer to them as “don” (for male) or “doña” (for females) followed by their first name.
  • Typical phrases that accompany greetings include, “Buenos días” (“Good morning”), “Buenas tardes” (Good afternoon”) and “Buenas noches” (“Good evening”).

Empower yourself with exceptional tools and resources for nurturing diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Inclusion Program

Inclusion logo

Join over 450 organisations already creating a better workplace

Find out more
Download this Cultural Profile

Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

Country Flag