Culture of Chile
Chile is a country in South America occupying a long and narrow strip between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
The pacific forms the country's entire western border, with Peru to the north, Bolivia in the north east and Drake passage to the south.
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The population of Chile is made up of Mestizos, persons of mixed Spanish and Native American ancestry who make up for 93 percent of the current population.
Only 3 percent consists of pure Native American, mainly Araucarians who are concentrated in the southern region; and the other 2 percent of the population is made up of unmixed European race.
The country of Chile has two lively and contrasting cultures: the cosmopolitan culture of the prosperous urban population, and the popular culture of the peasants, which is mainly Spanish but contains traces of Araucanian heritage.
The culture of peasants is heavily reflected in their music and dance. The country also has a flourishing literary tradition and has produced two Nobel Prize winners in literature, Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, both poets. The national dance is Ceuca.
Another form of traditional Chilean song is the Tonada. Arising from music imported by the Spanish colonists, it is distinguished from the Cueca by an intermediate melodic section and a more prominent melody.
Chile's cuisine reflects the country's topographical variety, and features seafood, beef, fresh fruit and vegetables.
Empanadas are large turnover snacks with a variety of fillings; humitas are corn tamales; and there are a variety of potato and flour-based breads.
Chile's biggest standard meal is lomo a lo pobre - an enormous slab of beef topped with two fried eggsand buried in chips.
The parillada, which will appall vegetarians and heart specialists, is a mixed grill including such delicacies as intestines, udders and blood sausages.
Curanto, one of the nation's finest dishes, is an all-encompassing, hearty stew of fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, lamb, beef and potato.
Chile is one of the leading industrial nations in Latin America as well as one of its largest mineral producers and is also known for its fruit and wine production.
Since the early 20th century, production of copper has dominated the Chilean economy.
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