Cultural Analysis of Chile

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  • Topic: Chile, Democracy, Chilean people
  • Pages : 8 (2790 words )
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  • Published : March 24, 2006
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Throughout the ensuing paper we will dive into a country of rich heritage, beautiful landscape, and an extraordinary people with a very promising future. Chile is the longest country in the world geographically speaking with a majority of the population residing in the central region, specifically Santiago, the capital, and Viña del Mar. The official language is Spanish, although in some regions a couple of other languages are still prevalent. Politically, the country has gone through many transitions from dictatorships, to military coups, to Christian democratic ruling parties. Today, Chile is a strong democratic nation. The family is very important to Chileans; this is influenced largely by the mestizo way of living. The mestizo's are very protective of the family since they live in small villages and lead life in a fashion that benefits all of society. The arts and education models are closely related to those of a European system. The country of Chile exists today as a republic that uses a Presidential system of government. Today, the government consists of three branches, Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Chile has a large mixture of races and nationalities. Because of this great racial diversity, most Chileans feel that there is very little racial prejudice. Regarding business customs, it is said that in Chile you do not work to live, you live to work. The Chilean workday is considered one of the world's longest, however 2 hour lunches are expected. Additionally, it is acceptable to arrive late to an appointment. Appointments are made during the work day or combined with a business lunch. The religion of Chile is integral to its culture and history; as is true with most nations.

Introduction and History

Chile is the longest country in Latin America, with a coastline of 6,435 km and an overall land area of 748,800 sq km. It borders the South Pacific Ocean in the west as well as the nations of Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. The climate is moderate and temperate, with dry and deserted areas in the north, Mediterranean conditions in the center and cool and damp temperatures in the south. The country is divided into 13 regional states. The main natural resources are copper, timber, iron and ore. Currently the population is around 16 million people of which around 5 million live in the capital Santiago. Over 90 % of Chile's population descends from European immigrants, mainly Spaniards who were the first to conquer the "new" continent. But in the 19th century a wave of German, English, French and Italian immigrants as well as certain nationalities from Eastern Europe settled over, escaping the bad economic conditions in their home countries. To continue, those different groups marked the country with their cultural influence and provided it with new, slightly different characteristics. The official language is Spanish, although in some regions a couple of other idioms are still prevalent, for example German in the southern region, as well as a couple of Indian dialects, spoken by tribes like the Mapuche, Aymara, and Quechua. Chile has an interesting but bloody history: Before the arrival of the Spanish conquerors, the area what is known today as Chile was inhabited by native Indian tribes. The northern Chilean territory was conquered and occupied by the famous Inka tribe that originated in Peru. Then, in 1535, Spanish Conqueror Fransisco Pizarro started a devastating subjugation on the hunt for gold. Although native tribes showed some resistance, 100 years later all the rebellions were pressed down, and the native population was either killed or expelled. But the Spaniards lost interest in the region after they realized that there were no resources of gold and silver. A high point came in 1818 when Chile claimed its independence from Spain. A period of conservative leadership made the country evolve economically. The next couple decades were marked by territory conflicts with its neighbors...
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