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Cultural Analysis of Chile

Essay by   •  February 22, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,714 Words (11 Pages)  •  1,588 Views

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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 Viсa 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 Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. In the 1920's a new constitution was passed, resulting in the separation of church and state. In 1945, Chile became a charter member of the United Nations. The post-world war йpoque bought a lot of political and economic uproar to the people of Chile as communist and Christian democrat parties were fighting steadily to claim governmental power.

In continuance, during the 1960's, a Christian-democrat majority finally formed the government but was not able to stabilize the nation. The discontent of the people subsided in 1970 with the election of Salvador Allende, who promised full nationalization of all basic industries and banks. He was the first President of the western world that was chosen according to a communist program in a non-Communist country. But opposition and resistance to his socialist policy was strong, both inside and outside the country, as the U.S. supported his Allende's opponents financially and ideology-wise. In 1973 Allende was removed from power in a military coup, where he allegedly committed suicide.

Following Allende, the notorious Pinochet regime seized power. Under his rule, the Constitution, Congress and political parties were dissolved. Thousands of political opponents were arrested, executed, tortured or simply "disappeared". Augosto Pinochet, a military general, became President and stayed in office until 1990 when he resigned as President. He remained involved, however, as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. In the mid 1990's a new elected Christian democratic government, together with human right activist groups, started to investigate on crimes against humanity under the Pinochet regime. Today, Chile stands as a solid democracy.

Social Institutions

The social institutions of family and education in Chile are directly related to the type of culture within the country and apply to where the marketing and advertising should be implemented of the product. Families in Chile are large because of the ways of mestizo culture, and largely due to the high percentage of lower class citizens, needing to live in a home where many people of the family can help economically. The mestizo's are very protective of the family since they lived in small villages and led life in a fashion that benefited all of the society.

Although women have widely been considered equals in Chile before most other countries in the world, divorce was not legalized in the country until 2004. This is an important factor because this means that now; Chile will be drifting more towards families with one individual as the head of the house. Before, this area of the market didn't even exist in the country. A relatively homogenous

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