Hello! I’m Pablo and I am from Chile. I was born in the beautiful city of Valparaiso (on UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 2003), one of the main ports of the Pacific during the 19th century. I graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso with majors in History and Education and minors in Geography and Social Sciences, and I’m very excited to be here at WU helping students as a language assistant and of course writing for the Willamette World News.
Just this last Friday, Chile celebrated its 199th anniversary of our of independence from Spain. We officially have two days to celebrate (18 and 19), but usually we celebrate for three or four days. During this time of the year, you can hear “cuecas” (traditional Chilean songs) everywhere, see Chilean flags waving in the sky, and people having empanadas and asados (barbecues), with a good Chilean red wine of course, for… well, pretty much every meal, especially on the 18th.
However, facing the bicentennial Chile has a few challenges that have been brought to light again due to the next presidential election on December 13th of this year. One of these challenges is the fact that the country needs a new constitution (we have constitutional amendments, but usually when there´s a major change in the political arena, a new constitution is written). Our present constitution was written under Pinochet’s dictatorship and was approved in an extremely questionable referendum in 1981. In spite of the fact that the democratic governments have suppressed and changed some of the most dictatorial articles, this constitution -together with the unfair economic system – are just one part of the legacy of the Pinochet years that we Chileans still have to live with.
In general, this is a weekend of celebration in Chile, but its also a weekend to revisit and remember our past.
Well, to say goodbye (for now) I´ll give you a list of a few Chilean movies you might enjoy:
La nana, Machuca, Taxi para tres, Historias de Fútbol, Tony Manero, El Brindis, Fuga, El Leyton and many, many more.
Oh and one last thing! The Chilean flag looks a lot like the Texan flag, or so I’ve been told, nevertheless the Chilean flag predates the Texan flag by 21 years.