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Samantha: Fiestas Patrias

September 26, 2009

The 18th of September is the date that Chile celebrates their patriotism. Almost every family has an asado which is a barbeque. I started celebrating on Thursday the 17th with an asado at my friend Nicolas’ house, with his family and family friends. On Friday the 18th my family had friends over for another asado. People started arriving at 2pm and didn’t leave until 11pm!! Everyone brought a salad to contribute to the meal. On Friday night I went to a friend’s house in Concon which is 30 minutes from where I live for yet another asado!!! On Saturday my entire extended Chilean family came over for… you guessed it another asado. This was by far the biggest family gathering I have seen in my life. I thought that gatherings with my Juve side of the family were big with 25 people, until I helped cook, serve and clean up after 40 people! Every chair, table, fork and plate that my family owns was occupied. Somehow they convinced me to dress in the traditional Chilean dress and dance the cueca which is the national dance of Chile.

For Four days there is a huge fair in a park near my house. There were typical carnival rides and games, artisan stands, as well as more than forty food stands that served a variety of food and beverages.

People also celebrate by going to Ramadas which are tent like structures made from branches and canvas. There is a cover charge to enter but you are able listen to live music, dance, eat and drink. I still haven’t caught up on the sleep that I lost over las fiestas patrias and I don’t care to eat meat or anything grilled for a very very long time!!!
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