Fiestas Patrias Part 2

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South America » Chile » Valparaíso Region » Viña del Mar
September 30th 2007
Published: October 11th 2007
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Chilean Huasos-aka cowboysChilean Huasos-aka cowboysChilean Huasos-aka cowboys

There are the traditional clothes of a ¨huaso¨. It is a flat brimmed hat and a poncho over a long shirt and darm pants. The boots are only to a little above the ankle. Carlos says this is the formal/elegant version. The real ¨huasos¨ dont look exactly like this.
Now this is how the people with money celebrate! With a big asado (BBQ) with lots and lots of meat and food and drinks and some go to the main park in Santiago. The entrance fee is $8 per adult and $4 per child. That isn´t a ton from an American standpont but for a chilean it is. A lawyer here at Carlos´office makes maybe $3000 per month. A lawyer. Minimum wage (40 hours a week or more) is less than $300 per month. If you have a family, it is impossible to survive. That is why Chile has the larget gap between the rich and poor in all of South America. Anyways, the park reminds me of the country fair. Booths where they sell chilean crafts, cowboy attire, rodeo stuff, food, cotton candy, etc. They also have a few booths for advertising cars, etc. They had a petty zoo with pony´s and stalls with horses that had won prizes in competitions during the holidays. They had a rodeo (chilean version which has 1 event). A team of 2 horseman try to get a cow/calf to fall to its knees. Yeah I know. I was asking myself the same thing. What? They do this by pushing it up against the wall of the ring, going round and round. ts hard to explain but I have a video that you can see. A little weird. I watched maybe 10 teams do it and had had my share. Moving on.

They also had a main amphitheater where they did this amazing horse show. It was the history of Chile through the centuries. It had people dresses in costumes and riding horses, doing tricks, etc. While they were doing this there was a narrator explaining the history of the country, important people, events, wars, traditions. AMAZING!!! Once again my explaing won´t do it justice but it was great! My highlight of Fiestas Patrias.

So that was my holiday. I have now had a true experience. This holiday is the biggest of the year. Christmas and Easter aren´t really big and they don´t have Thanksgiving. This is it! And they do know how to celebrate. I will give them that.

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


The ¨feria¨marketThe ¨feria¨market
The ¨feria¨market

Here they sell all the clothes, hats, shoes, spurs and equipment for the rodeo and horses. They had bridles, reins, etc. It was beautiful! And handmade leather saddles. Dad, I thought about you!
The Indian part of the showThe Indian part of the show
The Indian part of the show

Chile has various Indian tribes, the most well -known is the Mapuche in the south. They are known for their toughness. They have been attacked and attempted to be driven from their land many times over the last 300 or so years and every time the opponant is met with very stubborn, fierce and strong indians. They still play an important part in Chilean culture, economics, etc. today however their population is dwindling.
The cuecaThe cueca
The cueca

The ¨cueca¨ is the national dance of Chile. Someone once told me it is the rooster trying to get the hens attention during mating season. The man circles around the woman¨showing off[ while they both hold white hankerchiefs in their hands, twirling them around. Its interesting. I like it.
Easter Island performersEaster Island performers
Easter Island performers

Most peolpe forget that Easter Island is technically Chilean, although it is something like 3000 miles off the Chilean coast. Either way, they are represented in this show. They had polenesian dancers doing hula-like dancing. My favorite!
The colonialization of ChileThe colonialization of Chile
The colonialization of Chile

The European influence brought stage coaches and Victorian clothing styles. I felt like I was watching a Jane Austin movie!
Colonialization 2Colonialization 2
Colonialization 2

The dancing. Can´t forget the dancin´!
The last danceThe last dance
The last dance

The last part of the show was like the encore. All the acts came out and present the Chilean flag. The crowd went wild with pride!
The little boy who danced the cuecaThe little boy who danced the cueca
The little boy who danced the cueca

At the show was a family who all danced the cueca. The youngest was a boy of maybe 5 years old. He was all dressed up in his traditional suit and tie and hat. He took his job very seriously and was soooo cute!!! I took maybe 10 pics just of him. ¡Que lindo!
The Peruvian horsesThe Peruvian horses
The Peruvian horses

Chile has a very large population of Peruvians. There is special breed of horse that is only from Peru. Beautiful and walk very formal and prissy!
The MingaThe Minga
The Minga

In southern Chile on the island of Chiloe there is a tradition called ¨Minga.¨ Minga is the process of moving a house from one place to another. The difference is they do it over water! They place logs in a row on the water, place the house on top and then slowly roll the logs, taking from the back and placing it in the front until they arrive to land again. Then they have huge oxen pull the house to its finally resting place. After, all the neighbors who helped have a HUGE celebration for 2-3 days full of eating, drinking and dancing.

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