Daily Archives: September 25, 2008

Chilean Group Post: What they think of Americans?

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Wow! I have an even bigger problem with this topic then I did with what I think of Chilean Men or Chilean Women. So, my problem in the past was that the topic sets us up to spread stereotypes that most likely are not true of ALL Chileans.  I mean, I know Chileans who do not like avocado and that is practically the national fruit– if that can’t be true of all, what is?

This topic, in my estimation, is even worse as it opens space for us to make judgments on what Chileans think of Americans.  With the notable exception of Florencia, who is Chilean, and anyone in the group who chooses to have their significant other write the piece– none of us can really know and we pick out the things that we see as “weird”.  Therefore, I feel that it is still casting judgment.

Can we PLEASE do a different type of topic next week? I still say things like:

  • Favorite Chilean moment
  • Favorite Chilean recipe
  • Favorite/ least favorite place to eat/ go out/ vacation

would be so much better! Alas, I keep getting out voted, so here I go…

I tried to trick S. into contributing to this by asking him what Chileans think of Americans. The conversation went something like this:

C: So… what to Chileans think of Americans?

S: That would be stereotypes… I don’t think you can generalize a people.

C: Okay. But if you were to, what would you say?

S: I don’t. People are all different.

C: Okay, well, what would other Chileans without your moral aversion to stereotypes say?

S: I don’t know. What is this about?

C: Nothing.

S: I know. You don’t know what to write for the group blog.  We are changing the subject.

And. We did.

So, I have only something which can only worsen my search results.  I have had problems recently with searches and sleazy people linking to my site, so the topic is on my mind. I also have a history of funny, off, and scary search engine results that bring people here.  I commented on these in Who are you people? and Google: a tool or just a randomizer? Needless to say, I can only imagine what the following topic will do to search results.

So, here is my very generalized and not 100% true generalization: Chileans think that Americans are dirtier and more open with their bodily functions than Chileans.  And here are the facts, in my own humble opinion: we are.

Chileans are very, very, very careful to never fart, burp, or otherwise make inappropriate sounds in front of other people.  In the states, I would say, that people are careful in public but never to the point of being in pain. Also, I think it is acceptable to burp or pass gas in the comfort of ones own home– heck, this is part of the reason it is comfortable.  Also, Chileans think it is extremely rude to not cover your mouth when you yawn.  I think in America this is not the best of manners, but no one has ever given me “looks” in the states at 7am when I forget.  Also, in the states, covering mouth when coughing is considered much more important than which yawning.  In Chile, they seem to be about even.

In terms of cleanliness and orderliness, Chileans, even children, are much better about keeping their rooms orderly and cleaning their house routinely.  In some of my host families or friends of families, they vacuum daily, despite not having pets.  Most friends and family in the states it is a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly chore.  That said, I really don’t see this as being bad or dirty. Really, I can’t give a verdict on which is better or which is wrong.  They are just different.

Here are the other participants (this list will be updated as I notice that people post. Also, People, please link to me and others to help increase traffic for all):

Sara

Abby

Flo

Kyle

Katina

Emily

Carlos

Amanda

Renee

Kathleen

Lydia