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Now he's really angry. Photo by William A. Franklin

The challenge: Piss off a Chilean.

CHILEANS AREN’T SCREAMERS. I’ve seldom heard anyone yell anything, except in the name of soccer, and occasionally in a road-rage infused moment of frustration, and of course at education protests. Unless you include when people shout “ciclovía!” (bikepath) at me as I ride down the streets, no one has ever shouted at me. Chileans tend to prefer a slow seethe, complaining to each other rather than grabbing you by your lapels and shouting in your face.

Chilean anger is subtle. But it’s there. In crossed arms and a steady glare and hissed insults. In my seven years living here, I’ve picked up a few ways you can really picar (irritate) a Chilean.

Much of what makes Chileans mad is regional. It’s a long, thin country on the west coast of South America, making it American. It has a long border with Argentina, a shorter one with Peru, and blocks off Bolivia’s access to the ocean, which makes Bolivia one of only two landlocked countries on the continent. Country pride ebbs and flows, related to soccer, the economy, the price of copper, and how well we’re doing in comparison to our neighbors.

With that geographical background in mind, here’s how to piss off a Chilean.

Continental Ownership

To the question, “What nationality are you?”, answer “American.” Chile is in the Americas. Saying you are “americano” sounds like you think you have ownership of the Americas, and Chileans aren’t buying it. Though strangely, saying you are “norteamericano” (North American) raises no ire, despite the fact that North American is not a nationality, unless the US has recently joined forces with Mexico and Canada and I didn’t get the memo. Unfortunately, if you’re from the United States, the correct answer to the nationality question is “soy estadounidense,” which your tongue may screw up in some important way on the way out of your mouth; it’s not an easy word to say. But people will appreciate the effort–at least you didn’t say you were “American.”

Happy Columbus Day!

This is fairly universal south of the Rio Grande. Columbus opened Central and South America for colonization and exploitation. Therefore, this holiday, which in North America is celebrated with model Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria boats and a pajama-clad lie-in on the school holiday, is simply not called Columbus Day down here. In Chile it is sometimes called “Día de la Raza” (Race day), and it is often a time of protest, with Mapuche (indigenous people originally from the central south of what is now Chile and Argentina) taking to the streets, and the occasional burning or hanging of Columbus in effigy. There will be no happy Columbus day, though you may take the day off work and enjoy some pisco (see below).


Whatever you do, don’t expect Chile to be like Argentina, or more specifically Santiago to be like Buenos Aires. We don’t have milongas (tango dance halls) at which to while away the evening smoking bitter cigarettes and dancing with the faded belle of the ball who can dance circles around us. We don’t serve medialunas (small croissants) for breakfast, and we don’t use the word che to start or end a sentence (which means, roughly, “dude.”) Think of the Chile-Argentina abrasion as similar to the US-Canada one. And then put several-thousand-foot mountains in between and change the cultures about 35 degrees and give us different food to eat. Oh, and a different accent. Chile is not Argentina. Get it straight or feel the ira.

The Latin Lover

Now that you’re clear that Chile and Argentina are two distinct entities, do not intimate that Argentine men are more romantic, more chivalrous, or better lovers. I polled a group of friends one night about what was the single most contentious point of conflict between Chileans and Argentines, and this one won, with a special tangential diatribe from the men on the unacceptability of saying that Argentine men are better endowed than Chileans. I had no idea what to say, so I took copious notes.

Beaches for Bolivians

Bolivia and Chile are in a bit of a stand-off over how Bolivia should get its shippable goods to the Pacific Ocean. According to Bolivia, since they lost the land that is now the north of Chile in 1879 in the War of the Pacific, they have had no ability to compete in the world economy, because they do not have a reliable way to get their goods into the market. According to the Chileans, nyah nyah, finders keepers, losers weepers. Ceding a piece of Chile to Bolivia does not interest most Chileans, and while there are talks about digging a tunnel under Chile, or maybe granting an easement to Bolivia to give them access to the ocean, the main thought here can be summed up as, “Bolivians want access to the ocean. Well, too bad for them.” Though Peru recently granted Bolivia access to a port there, Chile is not moved to do the same any time soon, and suggesting otherwise will just irk people.

Pisco is Peruvian

Not to be outdone with pesky inferiority complexes compared to Argentina’s rich culture, or superiority complexes with regards to Bolivia, Chile also has a bone to pick with Peru. Peru was the last of the countries settled by the Spanish with mega bank, which can be seen in elaborate wooden balconies, palaces, giant plazas and squares in Lima. Santiago has several beautiful buildings from the colonial era, but nowhere near the riches of Lima. Peruvians are also rumored to speak better Spanish (clearer, anyway), and have a varied, saucy, spicy gastronomy, while Chile’s food is closer to one-pot cooking much of the time (though this is changing). They’re considered the architectural and gastronomical leaders in the region, and this piques Chileans.

So what does that have to do with pisco? Pisco, a grape brandy which is an ingredient for what both Chile and Peru consider to be their national drink, the pisco sour, brings a competitive bent to what should be a simple aperitif. The main ingredients are ice, sugar, pisco and the juice of a small lemon which in Chile is called limón de Pica. The Peruvian style pisco sour also has the froth of egg whites on top as well as a drop or two of Angostura bitters (which have nothing to do with Chile or Peru). But both countries claim both the alcohol and the prepared drink as their own. If you want to get into an argument with a Chilean, tell them either that pisco is Peruvian or that the Peruvian pisco sours are better. I advise against doing this while actually drinking, because everyone’s tendency to get into a fight goes up with alcohol, no matter where it comes from.

And if you don’t want to piss people off so much as alienate them, check out this group post on Cachando Chile, sourced by expat bloggers in Chile. And don’t forget the best way of all to alienate a Chilean. After they say they’re from Chile, ask, “Where’s that?”

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About The Author

Eileen Smith

Eileen Smith is the editor of Matador Abroad. She's an ex-Brooklynite who's made a life in Santiago, Chile. She's a fluent Spanish speaker who can be found biking, hiking, writing, photographing and/or seeking good coffee and nibbles at most hours of the day. She blogs here.

  • Nick Rowlands

    Fun article! Someone also once told me that pronouncing “Chilean” chiLAYan rather than CHIlean is a source of ira. True?

    • David Bustos

      Never heard such thing before, both forms are used and nobody I knows cares much about it. But now I wonder which one is the official way to say it.

    • Eileen Smith

      It sounds funny to the old expat ear, having heard it CHIlean for all these years. To be honest, I don’t speak much English to ChiLEans or CHIleans, so I’m not quite sure what would irritate them. Shall investigate. If I get any conclusive results, will be sure to report back!

  • David Bustos

    Without making any value judgement, I just want to clarify that Bolivians can use our ports as much as they want, check articles VI and VII of the “Tratado de Paz y Amistad de 1904″:

    Artículo VI.
    La República de Chile reconoce en favor de la de Bolivia y a perpetuidad, el más amplio y libre derecho de tránsito comercial por su territorio y puertos del Pacífico. Ambos Gobiernos acordarán, en actos especiales, la reglamentación conveniente para asegurar, sin perjuicios para sus respectivos intereses fiscales, el propósito arriba expresado.

    Artículo VII.
    La República de Bolivia tendrá el derecho de constituir agencias aduaneras en los puertos que designe para hacer su comercio. Por ahora señala por tales puertos habilitados para su comercio, los de Antofagasta y Arica.Las agencias cuidarán de que las mercaderías destinadas en tránsito, se dirijan del muelle a la estación del ferrocarril y se carguen y transporten hasta las aduanas de Bolivia en vagones cerrados y sellados y con guías que indiquen el número de bultos, peso y marca, número y contenido, que serán canjeados con tornaguías.

  • Jaime

    After having lived in La Serena several years ago, I can definitely attest to the fact that these points will get a rise out of most Chileans. I still don’t know how often I saw them get really angry though.

    Thanks for giving me a laugh this morning!

    • Eileen Smith

      no problem, glad I could help!

  • david miller


  • JJ

    Re: claim that Chileans aren’t screamers — You obviously do not have a Chilean mother.

    • Eileen Smith

      jajaja, I do not have a Chilean mother, you are correct! but people don’t usually yell at each other on the street. Or does she do that, too? Please tell me what comuna she lives in, so I can avoid her! (though I’m sure she’s actually quite lovely, right?)

    • Rodrigo

      Not to mention a Mother-in-Law.

  • SO

    I can’t believe this nonsense published, insurance must be a U.S. journalist, it’s okay when a foreigner tell who does not know where Chile, but I’ve seen documentaries where not even the Yankees have been able to locate the U.S. on the map.

    • maggie

      What are you talking about? With all due respect, you’re post doesn’t even make sense. 

      • maggie

        and yes, I actually do know how to correctly use “you’re”; *your! 

    • rfauffar

      No entendí tu comentario… Lo que dice ella está bien, así son los chilenos!! No es ni mejor ni peor que otros países, así es no más…

    • Seb

      This is the best example for that.. just watch it and laugh

      • annie

        this is bullshit. they probably interviewed a ton of people and only put these retards in. People here know the answer to every one of those questions, give or take maybe one or two. The people interviewed here are clearly either bums, or super southern and ignorant.

    • Nathalia Peña

      google translate detected! If you don’t know English, just make comments in Spanish :)

    • Mauricio Vargas Uribe

      what? Could you speak English?

  • Candice Walsh

    This just makes me want to visit more.

  • Eileen Smith

    but they are not assured passage across the country, which is the crux of the problem, no? Thanks for pointing out the pertinent sections of the law!

    • Steven

      I interviewed the captain of the port of Arica in March 2011 and he told me that Arica, Chile is a free port for Bolivian shipping. Containers arriving or departing cannot be opened by Chilean authorities unless there is concrete information that there are drugs inside. There is a long line of Bolivian truckers hanging out at the port every day waiting to pick up cargo and haul it up the mountain. As I understand it, there are no customs duties or other “trabas” in the way of Bolivian shipping through Arica. Bolivians are able to enter Chile with only a national ID card, and it’s not an expensive bus trip to Arica. I asked a trucker why more Bolivians don’t go down to the sea, and he said there is a fear of racism and nationalism. I asked him, given that he spends half his life in Chile, whether the fears were well-founded, and he said no. That he had never sensed anti-Bolivian racism in Arica.

      I got the feeling that this conflict is more about governments (especially the Bolivian government) throwing red meat to the most militaristic, nationalistic people in the society, rather than any real national interests.

  • Ghj

    I like the fact that you said “… making it American”  given that this is an issue for a lot of people… 
    At school I was taught that every single country in the American continent is American, just as much as every country in Europe is European…. 

    • Eileen Smith

      It does make sense, and now when I hear people from the US saying things like “in America” or “I’m American,” it makes me want to say something. Depending on the situation (esp in Latin America), I sometimes do.

  • maggie

    Right/Write on Eileen! Great to see you published on the weekly landing page. 

    • Eileen Smith

      Thanks, Maggie!

  • Bombacho

    me recagué de la risa.

  • Felipe

    Hi Eillen,

    First of all….  congratulations
    I’m Chilean, I live in Patagonia. I had travel all around so many countries and many states in the US, more than 90% of our clients are from US, my business partner is from US.
    Anyway…..what a great article, I’m a tour host in Chile and I have my own travel business in Patagonia and with your article I can cover so many aspects with fun.
    You were able to catch the scencia of the chilean.
    People tend to be so serious and can’t laugh anymore, your article is great and seems like so many people dont have sense of humor or always feel offended when somebody has an opion.
    I bet some people even will treat you as a communist… anyhow… good job!!!!

  • Jorgeastorga

    I like it! YES! we are like you say :)  But, may we talk about the “american” people? jajajajaja Take Care, Eillen :D

  • José Luis Roa

    I laughed once or twice while reading the article. However, there are certain points that are not as explained. The point of the “day of the race” and the one talking about Continental Ownership i think are a bit exaggerated. With the rest of the points i felt fully identified. 

  • Xipito

    Te llamamos

  • Gogo_pd

    Interesting Article!

  • Katsui

    vieja qlia!

  • Xipito

    Te llamamos

    Saludo al antro

  • Daniel_kinight

    I am of chili,It is true what she says, but it saddens me that she loses his time in saying to the others as being a nuisance, Love and peace for all  :D

  • Daniel Cereceda

    soy de Chile,es verdad lo que dice pero da pena que pierda su tiempo en informar sobre como molestar a los demás, Love and peace for all  :D

    • Fpealvarez

      In Chile the Communists are very bitter people

      • juano

        In Chile, facho trolls are very bitter. I’d hardly say they count as people, though.

    • Margaret

      Daniel- no se trata de fomentar molestias, sino a advertir a los extranjeros cuáles son los puntos sebsibles para no caer en problemas sin querer.

      • Francisca

        Margaret esta bien, pero que ponga cosas coherentes y reales no por vivir 7 anyos en CHile le da el derecho de poner tanta burrada junta. vivi 14 anyos en USA y creeme que con ese tiempo yo podria escribir mas de lo qeu ella a hecho en 7 anos enojando realmente a los gringos….

  • Krusty

    Y para qué quieres hacer enojar a un chileno?

  • PipeRocks

    Do not delete my comments stupid old menopausal bitch.

  • Jota

    enojarse por eso? : yao ming:

  • Pikachu

    Vieja culia !

  • Francisco K Importa

    Only a moron gets angry with the things mentioned in the article… and yes, i’m Chilean.

  • some girl

    Dude, I’m a chilean AND IS SO NOT LIKE THAT !!!!! screamers? bitch please, try Spain or Argentina, don’t feed chileans with BS

  • Francisco K Importa

    Things will make angry “Americans” (ejem… yankees.. America is a Continent)
    *Let me make you know that my next critic it’s not for the people of your place, but the POLITICIANS:1-You’re so ignorant that you even don’t know a shit of what’s happening out of your country.2-You believe you’re the World’s Heroes, but in the majority of the other Countries we KNOW the Terrorist are the politics in your place (not the people, but the politicians). Only in YOUR movies the “good guys” are the yankees and the “bad guys” are the: -cubans-venezuelans-irans-russians-and the rest of the world.The people of your country, seriously, STILL BELIEVE THAT PROPAGANDA?3-You claim other Countries like Iran to disarm their nukes, but I say this: Why you’re making that kind of order? weren’t you, “americans”, who attacked Japan in the past with 2 nukes? You think you have the Supreme Right that allows to keep and create more mass-destruction-weapons? don’t be silly… we ALL KNOW that you have so many nukes that you can probably destroy the world several times.4-Do you really believe that bullshit of the “Terrorism war”? Don’t you realize that THE TRUTH is that politicians are KILLING YOU to have more OIL? And all that obeys to ONE INTEREST: THE CORPORATIONS… yes, they are making rich with you soldiers death…. THAT’S YOUR UNITES STATES OF AMERICA YOU MORONS.5-There is a lot more I could say, but I will be generous and let you think by yourselves.WAKE UP, YOU’RE LIVING A LIE, A LIE CALLED “LIBERTY AND FREEDOM”.

  • Antronian

    To be honest almost nobody here would care about these themes, let alone get angry at them. Most people here would laugh at some of these subjects (Bolivian sea, Perú and the pisco, Buenos Aires) or just look at them with total apathy (Mapuches, “Americans”,etc). 

  • Julia

    I’m chilean and I really enjoyed reading the article, we have to laugh at ourselves!. But there’s only one thing i differ. Chile has offered to Bolivia easements regarding to the access to the ocean. The problem is Bolivia doesn’t accept ir, they only wants us to GIVE them the land… something we already won(and for a hig cost… Patagonia!)


  •ández-Peña/1334480690 Francisco Alexis Hernández Peñ

    El pisco es peruano, pero el chileno sabe mejor ;)

  • Giorgio

    La verdad es que usted habla puras huevadas en su publicacion. No tiene idea de como es la idiosincrasia de las clases chilenas.De seguro tomo su bicicleta se dio unas vueltas a la manzana se sento en un cafe en Bellavista, hizo algunas preguntas y empezo a sacar conclusiones ingenuas, tipicas de un yankee ignorante.
    Este pais en muy largo, casi el mas largo del mundo, con diferentes climas lo que hace actuar a las personas de manera diferente.
    Se nota que no tuvo Papa ni Mama Chilena, ni pertenecio a una familia tradicional de 11 hermanos.

    • Paula Valq

      Soy chilena y la verdad es que ella tiene bastante razón, esas son cosas que, no sé si llegan a enojar, pero sí molestan a muchos chilenos.

  • caek

    No publicó sus pechos como para pretender que le demos atención.

  • Maca

    Awesome! this really made me laugh, though I don’t agree with the Happy Columbus Day part. Nobody cares about that day, actually. You should’ve mentioned Allende or Pinochet; that pisses the crap out some people. With a little more research, this list could’ve been better. Keep it up!

  • Davidolupayout

    realmente dan pena weones…
    la mina esta escribiendo sobre lo que NO tienen que hacer los gringos cuando vienen a chile, ya la cagaron con inez peres y quieren repetir la experiencia???

    aprendan ingles, mandriles ql y despues alegan

    • Asd

      inez perez tiene lo q se merece, en la entrevista completa no cambia nada sus dichos.
      al tema, está bacan el articulo XP , me gustó.

      • Asd

        aaa y leí el articulo, y si, es como para enojarse algunos pasajes… no estoy de acuerdo XP, ahora q lo leí entero veo pq algunas personas se enojaron y tienen la razon….
        me imagino el q david es un chupapico de los gringos por lo que puso, acéfalo de mierda

    • Mai


  • Valentina

    Oh, really, I’m chilean and  I laughed a lot with this article.  It’s pretty nice to see someone take the time to create a list about how to make us angry xD.
    PFFF. Americans. North Americans. Estadounidenses. 

    And remember:
    Never mess with the chileans (?). 

  • juano

    as a Chilean, I can say one thing: there probably isn’t another country in the world as obsessed with how it’s seen by others – this is probably because chileans ourselves are very uncertain about our national identity. “HOW FOREIGNERS SEE US”, “WHAT I’VE LEARNT FROM MY STAY IN CHILE”, “HOW HOLLYWOOD DEPICTS CHILE (cue a throwaway line from some Ben Stiller movie)” – we eat that shit up. we really do. we hope that we’ll find some magic truth about who we are, and when we don’t, we get angry.
    I don’t really mean this as a criticism, though – I happen to find our collective inferiority complex a most endearing trait. in fact I’m hardly free from it myself – seriously, fuck Argentina. who do they think they are

  • B4990803

    My name is Luish Pinto, and you dont nou enithing the fuking televition

  • guest1

    thumbs up for the “americano” thingy. We on America (not USA) are all am@gmaericans, you ‘gringos’ should learn this by heart. By the way, nice tips.  

  • Allendes

    Para que estamos con cosas si todo lo que dice es verdad. TODOS DEBERÍAMOS APRENDER NUEVOS IDIOMAS!!!! Para mejorar la relación entre las razas se necesita comunicación, respeto y paCIENCIA!

  • Blackesteyes

    I’m Chilean too and I laughed a lot with this article!! It seems most people can understand English but they are not able to read between the lines… what a pity!!

    Even though these points may create some sort of conflict I still believe they will not “piss off” a Chilean… I think they will make the conversation more fun (yes, I intentionally wrote “more fun” XD).

  • Blackesteyes

    I’m Chilean too and I laughed a lot with this article!! It seems most people can understand English but they are not able to read between the lines… what a pity!!

    Even though these points may create some sort of conflict I still believe they will not “piss off” a Chilean… I think they will make the conversation more fun (yes, I intentionally wrote “more fun” XD).

  • Blackesteyes

    I’m Chilean too and I laughed a lot with this article!! It seems most people can understand English but they are not able to read between the lines… what a pity!!

    Even though these points may create some sort of conflict I still believe they will not “piss off” a Chilean… I think they will make the conversation more fun (yes, I intentionally wrote “more fun” XD).

  • 8===D


  • Betogaskets

    chilenitos cuando no.
     Creen que todo lo bueno y rico que tenemos los peruanos son de ellos , Hasta la pieza PRINCIPAL  que tenemos son de ellos , QUE DIRAN SUS MUJERES…………….

    • Dani

      que por gente nacionalista como tú, de ambos países (Chile y Perú) peleamos por estupideces en vez de hacer bien las cosas

  • Francisca

    Im from Chile, and this interview really piss me off, because mostly what this woman wrote is NOT true. come on about bolivian people and peruvian pisco is ok, but the rest??
    We never are angry when the “american” call themselfs “americans” because we call them “GRINGOS” (GREEN GO), (i think this is one of the think how to piss of an “american” from USA)
    Second of all about the argentinian since long time ago we dont have any kind of struggle with them, we start to live in harmony with them.

    I know you live in Chile 7 years but i lived in USA since 14 years and i CAN write about the american, or start to say what they hate or how to piss of a “gringo”. I never say every single american is considerer by other (mexico, Germany, Chile, etc) as an ignorant because they dont know is Europe a continent.

    Really you spend 7 years in Chile, and you did a note like this? seriously???????? i hate when the gringos spend a short time in Chile and they think (like always) they have to said how is work a country or how the people do or feel.

    Seriously in this note is not work at all and you know what?
    This note is the 6 point of your list.

    • Sofía

      Para vivir tanto tiempo en EEUU tu inglés deja harto que desear. A mí personalmente me molesta que se llamen a sí mismos americanos, y sé que no soy la única. 

    • Eileen

      If seven years isn’t long enough to opine about Chile, in your estimation, what is the appropriate amount of time? In April it will be 8 years. Will it be enough then?

  • Carlos Alonso Leiva

    Not everyone in Chile cares about the nationality of Pisco, Argentinian Latin lovers, or Bolivian Beaches. I personally don’t care about that while there are more important stuff happening.

    • Eileen

      I suppose this is as good a place as any to talk about it. So what really gets you pissed?

  • gutierrez

    Como enojar a un chileno?, escribiendo un articulo sobre como enojar a un chileno. 

  • Maida C

    Hahahaha I’m from Chile and I thought it was a pretty great post. True by the way, though I disagree with the Race Day. For me it’s a time for celebrating with friends, we go out and have a massive lunch (with tipical foods from Spain) and have a great time. I have never heard of it as a bad day. But everything else: if you are “gringo” (any english-speaking person in Chile is a “gringo”) TAKE NOTES!! :)

    • Mauricio Vargas Uribe

      That’s you. I can assure you that a big percentage of the population sees that day as the Race Day, a day that remember the starting point of the genocide that spanish people did in America. Nothing to celebrate. It doesn’t mean that chileans hate spanish people,  but for sure they don’t celebrate it.

  • Bryancvg

    Im from chile and i don’t give a fuck about anything you mentioned

  • Alvaro

    todo eso es verdad, la pura y santa verdad

  • Mauricio Vargas Uribe

    Dear Eileen,
    I’m from Chile and I don’t completely agree with you. It’s true that chileans (we) get pissed off by the continental ownership and the columbus day, however, the rest of your list doesn’t make much sense. Many Chileans don’t even care about our neighbors, although some of them make fun of them, but in no case they get pissed off.
    You fail to mention what really make Chileans angry:
    - Politics: right wing vs left wing (call someone facho or communist)
    - Dictatorship vs Military Government
    - Abuse of power, e.g. Police brutality
    - Crime
    - Flaites (people associated with poor education and poor language that you usually find in the streets trying to demonstrate power through violence and threatening)
    - Football soccer between rival teams (e.g. Colo Colo vs U de Chile)
    - And as you see if you read many of the other comments, Chileans DO NOT LIKE when foreigners comment about chilena’s behavior.
    Fun column though.


    • Gonzalo Avaria

      Riete po Mauricio, si la cosa era pa la risa, no pa que hicieras una destrucción del artículo.

      Habiendo vivido casi 3 años en EEUU, puedo decir que muchas de las cosas que aparecen en el artículo me pasaron a mi y ahora las miro con mucho humor. Es bueno cuando alguien te puede decir como te ven, eso cambia la visión que tienes de ti y puedes aprovecharlo!

      Eso no mas…
      Gonzalo Avaria

      • Luz

        Ah sí? Y vivir en Estados Unidos justifica que pierdas el respeto por tu cultura? O a ti te parece correcto que los gringos arrastren su prepotencia por el resto del planeta, esperando que todos les hagamos reverencia?

        • Gonzalo Avaria

          Nunca he perdido respeto por mi cultura, de hecho les demostraba, muchas veces, las similitudes y diferencias culturales que tenemos. 

          Incluso, muchas veces me vi enfrentado a estadounidenses incultos que creian que Chile estaba al lado de Mexico. Ahi aprovechaba de enseñarles geografía.

          El problema aqui, es que todos son muy graves con el tema. Por eso digo, hay que reirse, reflexionar y mirarnos desde la perspectiva que ellos tienen de nosotros (asi mismo como tu encasillas a todos los gringos como prepotentes y esperando a que les hagan referencia, lo que es a su vez, una cosa muy cómica).


        • Gonzalo Avaria

          Nunca he perdido respeto por mi cultura, de hecho les demostraba, muchas veces, las similitudes y diferencias culturales que tenemos. 

          Incluso, muchas veces me vi enfrentado a estadounidenses incultos que creian que Chile estaba al lado de Mexico. Ahi aprovechaba de enseñarles geografía.

          El problema aqui, es que todos son muy graves con el tema. Por eso digo, hay que reirse, reflexionar y mirarnos desde la perspectiva que ellos tienen de nosotros (asi mismo como tu encasillas a todos los gringos como prepotentes y esperando a que les hagan referencia, lo que es a su vez, una cosa muy cómica).


    • Boris Rodriguez

      eres un tonto grave wn, se nota que no tienes comprensión de lectura

    • Alejandro Garay

      muy buenos algunos de lso puntos que dices mauricio, definitivamente hay cosas que pueden enojarnos mucho mas que las mencionadas en la lista de Eileen (que por lo menos a mi me gusto harto) pero con los puntos que dice el mauricio podria habver una segunda parte

    • Guillermo

      Totally disagree, your opinion is very local, only one point is la u colo colo…
      Didn’t want to say grave , but you are close to …. ;)

  • Boris Rodriguez

    y como ultima acotación….excelente análisis, el chileno no podría hacer este mini estudio ya que debe ser alguien externo y vivir acá para despellejarnos el alma.

    • Luz

      Si tu alma cuenta con un pellejo lleno de estupideces, Boris, ese es tu problema y en todo caso, les chilenos nos “despellejamos el alma ” a cada rato solitos y con mucha más exactitud que alguien externo a la cultura latinoamericana y que además, se ve, no nos tiene el mínimo respeto, como todos los yankis.

  • Luz

    Dear Eileen,

    I found a quote from one of your articles, written from Chile on 2009:

    “It’s bound to happen. Spend any amount of time in a culture that’s not
    your own and your foot will certainly end up in your mouth at some
    point. Sports, politics, and religion aside, there are plenty of other
    ways to meter la pata
    in Chile. Over the years I’ve stumbled on a few (hard not to take a
    nose dive once in a while with that foot in mouth thing going on). Being
    from the “learn from my mistakes” camp, I thought I’d share.”

    The list you shared was a lot more polite then, warning not to tell chileans that you don’t like sandwiches, don’t understand the concept of “onces” or doubt of the beauty of the national anthem.

    That was funny, this was not. An honestly, was a lot  more than “a foot in your mouth”. In fact, your comment confirms the very well known obnoxiousness and arrogance of many of you, citizens of The United States, the same one that makes you consider “hilarious” that anyone could “doubt” that you “own” the name of a whole continent: America. By the way, don’t blame only  us Chileans for that, but ALL Latin American Citizens…and yeah, the poor Canadians!

    Have you learned anything  living in South America or us, Third World Countries, are just a place to exercise your yanky arrogance one more time?

    • Robin


    • Eileen

      who said anything about third world countries? It’s a term I never use. It is hilarious to think that American means estadounidense, because it doesn’t. And in fact, it’s not just Latin Americans and Canadians. Won’t you think of the Guyanese, Surinamese and people from French Guiana? They’re Americans, too.

      • Isa

        The word “latin” in Latin americans, refers to countries in tha American continent with languages that came from latin. Don’t you know that French comes from the Latin language too? English also has a big part of its vocabulary inheredited from  latin. We all should be called latin americans, you included.
         Well maybe people from Suriname could be out of the latin american denomination, because Dutch is not so close to latin, but why should we exclude only them?
        North americans include also Mexicans, becasuse they are in the north of America.

        • juan carlos batman

          it’s even worse. latins are the inhabitants of latium (the modern region of lazio in italy) and nobody says ‘germanic america’ only because their languages are germanic.

          in the case of America… well… most people in the world consider north america and south america as two different continents, that’s why in this article the dude says ‘the americas’. and to them the concept of north america is quite different because it includes central america and the caribbean in.

  • Dkhowe

    If you want to piss off a Canadian, tell them they’re American.  I’ve done it.  More than once.

  • ffuentes

    I laughed because it’s true. Chileans are so sensitive. I’m Chilean but not a nationalist one.

    Regarding the Bolivian access to Chilean ports, that paragraph is wrong.

    Bolivia has access to Chilean ports according to a treaty and they have customs officers and special space there (for example, in Arica). The peruvian treaty  in Ilo IIRC is similar, the slight difference is that it’s not an agreement because of the end of a war.

  • Joel Yinger

    I’m a Canadian who lived in Chile from the time I was 4 until I was 18, went to school in Spanish, had close friends across all the social stratas and my friends say I’m “mas Chileno que los porotos”.  This was a fun article.  Most Chileans do get irked to varying degrees over each of these topics.  I can’t comment on Columbus Day as it’s not a Canadian holiday either.  I’ve never seen anyone expect Chile to be like Argentina so I can’t comment on those either.

    What you say about them calling people from the US “Norteamericanos” is so true, and as a Canadian that was something that pissed me off.  Canada and Mexico exist too!!  Howver, I think there needs to be an English word that can replace “Americans”.  We are all Americans.  United Statesians?

    • Javiera JIVA

      USA needs a name. If Mexicans are from United States of México, same thing with United Emirates of Arabia (yes, a.k.a. Arabia), how would u call someone from United States of “America”, when there are more states not only in North America, but in ALL America?

  • Rigo Figueroa

    So you didn’t understand ANYTHING about CHILE. It was like you kept living in the States in 7 years. Fortunately, not all gringos are that blind.

    • Eileen

      I still live here, the journalist erred, and if you’d read my bio or my blog, you’d see I still live here. And how, exactly is it like I’m still living in the United States? I just don’t see it.

  • Constance Clarke

    No me enojé leyéndolo, pero claramente lo haría con alguien patriota.
    Buen post, saludos.

  • Eileen

    thanks, gutierrez (see below), que un extranjero escriba algo sobre como enojar a un chileno, así se enoje a un chileno. Misión cumplida. :)

  • Matias Mena Reyes

    hahahaha excelente!

  • Piemti

    Chilean tv will call you…………

    Mi naim is Piemti and i like sheep

  • Piemti

    Hi i told you my name is Piemti. I think that you will go to chilean Tv, because your opinion is very small. Yo canot say 3 things triger chilean peoples hate. Thats not true. Yo are a very not seeing anything. I like sheep.

  • Piemti

    Hi in my opinion yo are more time in chile to speak the right stuff, yo want to go to chilean tv. My name is Piemty and I like sheep.

  • Piemti

    Iam Piemti , I like sheep and you dont erase my writinj. Yu better know more about chilean.

  • Piemti

    Piemti wishes to not erase my writing. Piemty is love, and Piemti love sheeps too. Yu not writhe about chileans so easy.

  • Piemti

    Piemti knows yu canot write so easy about chileans. Piemti loves sheep and dont like so much about your writing.

  • Piemti

    Piemti knows yu canot write so easy about chileans. Piemti loves sheep and dont like so much about your writing.

  • Piemti

    I will write ok. My name is Piemti. I like sheep. You are wrong.

  • Piemti

    Piemti dont like this article. Piemti likes sheep.

  • Piemti

    Piemti dont like this article. Piemti likes sheep.

  • Piemti

    Piemti says you are a not cool writer, you better go back to united states. I like sheep and my sheeps dont like your article.

  • Piemti

    Piemty says chilean Tv will call you to speak about your thoughts about your article, you dont know chilean people. I know sheeps. Piemti like sheeps.

  • Piemti

    Piemti says you are a comet Eillen, you go back to unitedsates, like the comet go Eillen go back to space. I am Piemti, I like sheeps. and I dont like so much your article.

  • Piemti

    Piemti like sheeps, Piemti dont like so much your article, Piemti write in Inglish, Piemti would like that you write again your basic article.

  • Piemti

    Piemti think that your writing is not good, you cant say three thing define chilean people and throw that stuff on internet. You better not write so much trash. I am Piemti, I like sheep.

  • Piemti

    I you dont still dont know yet, Piemti likes sheep and dont like so much your poor basic article.

  • Piemti

    Piemti thinks you must live another ten years in chile, to writte another better article about chileans. Chilean will not eat a unitedstater, and will not do any wrong to a unitedstater. Just dont write so poor articles of double sense. One way you advice to dont talk about stuff, but other way you talk about sensitive stuff. You are not right. Iam Piemti and I like sheep.

  • Piemti

    Piemti want to piss in the bathroom. I come later. I like sheep.

  • Piemti

    Piemti didint go yet. Piemti will go now. Piemti likes sheep.

  • Piemti

    Piemti already come. Now I will write more, well not so much becasue later Piemti will go to sleep. Piemti likes sheep.

  • Piemti

    Piemti likes sheep. Piemti thinks your writink takes jeopardy stuff and write to receive visitors and go to chilean tv to speak not good stuff.

  • chilean

    how to piss off a chilean?? saying that chileans are very amerindians, and similar than peruvians and bolivians!!! if you say that chile is very similar to peru or bolivia, is worst than saying that chile is like argentina, racial complex of chileans is hilarious!!

  • Jijix

    Women, shut up and go to make me a sandwich

  • Dato freak

    ya wn…ahora lloren cada con su opinión, densos “everywhere” 

    seguro no tienen su opinión de los gringos o los argentinos.
    Me parece que es  inseguridad la reacción de algunos.

  • Sebastian

    Lo que hace enojar a los gringos:

    1- que son estupidos como Homero Simpson
    2- que son el pais de la liberatad cundo les conviene
    3- que son perseguidos y andan viendo terorristas en todo el mundo
    4- que andan buscando petroleo
    5- Que China es y seguiran siendo la primera potencia mundial

  • Valdivian

    I find almost everything to be true. I would mostly object the “Happy Columbus day” unless you say it to a Mapuche ;-)
    Also, I would say most Chileans just enjoy Peruvian food. 
    I didn’t know that Peruvians have Pica lemon equivalents.
    Nice article!

  • Carolina

    Gracias por esforzarte en no meter la pata con nosotros jajaja, en verdad a mí me pica demasiado lo de “American” y que Bolivia exija mar después de confabularse con Perú para atacarnos, así que me interpreta tu artículo, soy una chilena picoteee

  • juanito

    Better than this would be a “how to make happy a chilean” post. 

  • Periodista

    Eileen, mi marido lleva 12 años viviendo en Chile, es húngaro, yo vivi con él en Alemania durante 9 años y bajo ninguna circunstancia se me ocurriría como periódista escribir sobre algo que por mucho que lo quieras y vivas allí,  sea tan erróneo. Obviamente hay cosas divertidas por las cuales hasta los mismos chilenos nos reímos, pero esto? con todo respecto esto no es gracioso porque te aseguro que los chilenos enojados que escribimos aquí y más no entramos dentro de esta tificación.

    En 7 años deberías haberte fijado más, haber sido más perspicaz y astuta y fijarte más que en enojar a un chileno, que cosas son típicas de la idiosincracia chilena, algo liviano y divertido, que de seguro la mayoría de los chilenos hubieramos estado de acuerdo.

    No es tampoco por nada, pero alguien que lleva 7 años viviendo en un país, de seguro hubieras hecho un mejor articulo respecto a los chilenos, sinceramente, si hubieras puesto un poco mas de trabajo y esuerzo hubiera sido muchisimo mejor :)

    p.d: te faltó escribir que artículos como este hacen enojar y MUCHO a los chilenos.

  • Jorge Romero

    Nahhh. These “tips” work only with a few monkeys in Chile. Most of educated people here wouldn’t respond to that with anger. Not me, at least. Have you been to Perú? In Chile, it is possible to irritate its people with the “Perú” thing, but the topic needs to be brought to us. In Perú, on the other hand, hating Chile comes very natural. They tend to hate Chile even on History books. Go and you’ll see. I don’t think Chileans would care about Perubians if they weren’t poking us all day.

  • Héctor

    Cómo hacer llorar a un gringo? con un par de aviones…

  • Busabunim

    Al TC le gusta la pichula… Rayback se lo pone a ronelbetorres y a allendevive…

    Saludos Antronianos!

  • Goku says hi to antronio

    Hi Eileen,

    would you like to read more opinions about your article? check this out

  • Vee

    People are taking this too seriously, really. I’m from Chile and I find it kind of funny. Not very accurate though, unless you want to avoid pissing off the people that sell stuff at the Mercado, or some serious nationalist type.

    On a side note, it was a really bad idea to call a country “United States of America”, unless they wanted to own all the continent at some point.

  • Justin


  • Naturali

    it’s really funny! and….it’s quite accurate. :)

  • Heather Foster

    Now I have to check where the Pisco we sell is made. That part will make for an interesting day at work tomorrow.  Thanks, Eileen! Great article. :)

  • almaata

    In English (and geologically), there are two continents, North and South America.  ”America” in the singular is shorthand for the United States (of America), and does not constitute a continent.  The term “American” is the official demonym for residents of the United States.  In Spanish, the situation is different as far as naming, and should be followed as such.  
    But getting mad over someone from the United States of America calling themselves an American is like getting mad at someone from the Federal Republic of Germany calling themselves a German.

    • popo

      Not the same thing ! not it all

    • Javiera JIVA

      And u know why your demonym is “American”? Because USA is not a country, doesn’t have a name. For example, México is “United States of México”, or Arabia is “United Emirates of Arabia”. USA is just a bunch of states that doesn’t have cultural roots or even a name. Curiosly, there are a demonym for each state of USA…

      So if someone from FRG calls themself “German”, is as correct as the Mexican from the United States of México or the Chilean from the Republic of Chile. Read a book plz!

  • Radikaldude186

    Oooh Eileen, your so pathetic, I’m chilean and have been living in the US for 12 years, your ignorant and you should get your facts straight, you americans aren’t any better, atleast were much different than you americans, you are pretty much insulting people by your pointless article, now if your gonna talk shit then leave my beautiful chile and go back to your country or atleast learn from me, because atleast I tried my hardest to adapt to the US and learn the language and don’t talk shit about americans, but I’m guessing your just mad cause you probably haven’t had a good fuck in awhile and since no one wants your old wrinkly stinky pussy in chile you go on the internet and talk crap about us but its okay, I’m sure you left the US cause you had nothing for your self and picked chile to move to cause you wanted to feel powerful in another country or maybe you were sucha waste of life your parents disowned you, but hey don’t forget just cause your a waste of life and a failure don’t write shit about us, thank you ;)

  • Felipe

    I’m Brazilian, and I have to admit that saying that you guys are “americans” or that the other latins are better lovers pisses me off too!

  • Billikane

    People DO scream at each other in the street, just go to Paseo Ahumada in Santiago.

  • Chilena , y Que hueá?

    Me parece poco serio tus argumentos para molestarnos, más bien es algo de  indiferencia para nosotros lo expuesto en tu “grandioso” post. De mal en peor.
    Creo firmemente que la mayor irritación es que vengan extranjeros europeos o estadounidenses a  ocupar trabajos de elevada capacitación, mientras hay cientos de miles desempleados chilenos con  títulos universitarios y endeudados(US $ 40.000 lo mínimo) con el crédito con aval del estado.
    Se nota que no entendiste nada cuando veniste a Chile primor.
    Si fueras socióloga te morirías de hambre jajajajaja.

  • Lorena Simpson

    Like every US citizen doesn’t want to be called a racist, neither do any other culture like to be teased by people who has spent a decent amount of years living under a foreign culture to diss about it with little substance, unable to understand that Chileans among many other cultures in South America, are the most self ironic culture of them all. You may pick a ton of subjects that may bring a chilean to flip out on you, but actually it takes nothing but a look, a wrong one. It all depend on whom you decide to try your luck with, alike in Brooklyn you hardly will try to play smart ass in the hoods, where nobody knows you. If you want to piss off a chilean, just make sure you pick someone you know well, otherwise you may end up looking really stupid and possibly hurt. Chilean will not punsh you right away, they prefer to destroy your self esteem verbally, that kind of damage takes well longer to heal than a punched eye.

    • mds

      Now, THAT was actually funny! And true.

  • Bruja Lopez Tarifa

    Hola :D muy buenas, soy chilena, y debo decirle que su post me ha gustado mucho, puesto que estaba buscando sobre el “estereotipo chileno” visto desde afuera. Me sentí especialmente identificada con el asunto de los estadounidenses autodenominándose americanos, que lo son, tanto como lo soy yo, pero que no es su nacionalidad (U.S. Citizen, si mal no recuerdo), y los demás los reconocí porque, algunas cosas me dan igual, pero soy chilena y debo saberlo xD

    El único error que encontré fue el tema de Bolivia. Estuvo muy bien descrito, pero falta la información acerca del permiso que tienen los bolivianos para usar las carreteras chilenas para transportar sus productos a puertos chilenos gratis, sin pagar impuestos, ni por la carreteras ni por el uso de puertos, acorde al tratado de tregua de 1909, e incluso existe muelle boliviano en, si mal no recuerdo, Arica y Antofagasta. Agradecería que reparara ese error, o recurriera a una fe de errata, puesto que el error por falta de información es suyo.

    • Javiera JIVA

      Exacto, Bolivia tiene de hecho más acuerdos con Chile que con el resto de sus vecinos, y del total de tierras perdidas en guerras (iniciadas por ellos o la Confe. Perú-Boliviana), sólo un 10% lo tomó Chile, y el resto está distribuido entre Perú, Brasil y Paraguay.

  • Hades

    Cuando te vea, te agarrare a pichulazos. Maraca culia.

  • Hades

    Cuando te vea, te agarrare a pichulazos. Maraca culia.

  • Hades

    Cuando te vea, te agarrare a pichulazos. Maraca culia.

  • Hades

    Cuando te vea, te agarrare a pichulazos. Maraca culia.

  • Hades

    Cuando te vea, te agarrare a pichulazos. Maraca culia.

  • popo

    I’m sorry, but you are so full of it. you don’t know shit about Chileans or Chile.
    Grow up little girl.

  • RenZ

    “And don’t forget the best way of all to alienate a Chilean. After they say they’re from Chile, ask, “Where’s that?””

    I Believe this would say more about you as a person. The article was funny for moments,

  • Fernando

    Funny column, Eileen, good work. I feel bad for my fellow citizens, though, seemingly incapable of understanding irony. While getting so defensive they fail to see they’re just showing an inferiority complex – if you feel confident on your culture and personality you shouldn’t be bothered by some comments from a gringa, right?

    Anyways, I just wanted to share with you some other awesome ways to piss off a Chilean (as written for dummies: opinions you should avoid voicing out when discussing sensible topics with Chilean people).

    -Football: Let’s start with the word itself, just saying the word for the sport is ‘soccer’ will annoy most male guys. Chances are you are talking to either a Colo Colo or Universidad de Chile fan; you can irate the former mocking them about the only Copa Libertadores they have, and brag about everyday, was won more than 20 years ago; you can annoy the hell of the latter questioning whether they are following a football team or a cheerleader fan (most of their anthems support fan themselves, rather than the team). If the guy likes any other team, just tell him nobody out of Chile has ever heard of them.

    -Politics: Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship (or ‘military government’, as some will still put it) keeps a most divisive point in our society. Chile is so polarized in this that is almost every time plain to see whether your interlocutor is right or left-winged. Reminding a ‘facho’ (conservative) that Pinochet is considered worldwide one of the most terrible dictators in modern History, or questioning a ‘comunacho’ (liberal) the usefulness of marching should give you quite a “good” beginning.

    -Culture: Chileans seem to be huge fans of our own culture, but most of us don’t really put our money where our mouth is. Recently, more and more young people are rediscovering our cultural values, but they are clearly far from being a mainstream tendency. Nevertheless, just put that obvious contradiction into the forefront and they’ll want to rip your eyes off.

    -Partying: We are famous in Latinamerica for being kind of “boring”… at least for Caribbean standards. Starting a party in your apartment at 23:00 on a Monday will earn you lots of silent, brooding enemies, but it’s ok, since (mostly) no one will come kicking at your door (we lack a confronting attitude). Of course you can take advantage of that and say it aloud, for further ‘fun’.

  • Anne Hoffman

    Ask cuicas about the dictatorship….=)

  • Jamie

    Alternatively you can also ask them to give Rapa Nui back to the Polynesians … and run!

  • MMGG

    if you want to piss a Chilean, talk about Pinochet and watch the world burn

  • Eileen Smith

    I’m on Paseo Ahumada all the time, and while I often hear shouts of “La SeGUNda,” I can’t say I’ve ever heard people yelling at each other! Today it was nearly silent, but that’s typical for a Sunday.

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