General information

Family traditions in typical Chilean family

What are some rules of behavior in Chilean family? If some day you find yourself in this South American country and some of local friends of yours would ask you for family supper what would you do? For this case you better know some general rules of behavior.

If you are guest in Chilean family and you are given food on the plate you have to eat the whole portion, otherwise it would be considered disrespectful or that you didn’t like the meal. If you didn’t finish one dish it is impolite to start the next one. Answering cell phone during your meal is also impolite.

Most of Chilean traditional families used to have many children in the family. Even if the family could not really afford more they would have more. So average Chilean family used to be quite big. However, new generation Chileans are not in hurry to have children and get married. Modern Chilean family usually has one or two kids. Husband and wife usually both work and bring income to the family together. It is popular for Chile to hire babysitter who will also clean the house, do laundry and other house chores.

Chilean family is really strong unity and reliable part of the society. Divorces in Chile are very rare thing. Chileans in general could be called family oriented. It is not only about husband, wife and children – during weekend and holidays all the big family along with grandparents, nephews, aunts, brothers and sisters, cousins and others are gathering together at granny’s yard. Even if for this they have to drive half the country through. During this meeting the whole big united Chilean family has barbeque.

As for division of duties in the family it doesn’t seem very equal, but more traditional way. Woman is preparing dishes and serving the table, while husband might either help her or not, but if he won’t it is usually ok with woman – she would not yell at him. She wouldn’t be offended if man has something to do himself and didn’t help with the table, for example. Although such stuff is rather individual.

In Chile there is slight hint for man to be the head of the family, but this is more about families that were created more that 15-20 years ago. Modern Chilean women do not really seem enthusiastic to recognize a man to be a breadwinner in either way.

Traditional family evening meal in Chilean family is something BIG. Usually supper is few hours long, where all family members taste different dishes, drink wine, communicate, discuss problems and issues and just have mutual family harmony. Traditional Chilean family supper is also important part of Chilean family and Chilean culture in general.

Even though Chile is considered to be quite emancipated country, especially in terms of Latin America, still many women would agree for some aspects of traditional family wife. This is rather individual and depends on particular couple and particular family.

Chilean family is unique entity of this Latin American region, formed on the basis of European tradition with impact of local cultures, climate, beliefs. Chilean family is in the top among the most hospitable in the world. Chilean family could be a good example of mutual respect, love, honor and unity.