How do Chile people greet?

Answered by Tom Adger

When it comes to greeting in Chile, the most common and intimate form of greeting among friends and family is the ‘abrazo’. This is a combination of a handshake and a hug, and it is a way to show affection and closeness. It is a warm and friendly gesture that is often accompanied by a smile and sometimes even a light slap on the back when hugging, particularly among male friends.

However, it is important to note that the ‘abrazo’ is typically reserved for close friends and family members. When greeting acquaintances or people that one is not as close to, a kiss on the right cheek is a common form of greeting. This is a more formal way of greeting and is often accompanied by a verbal greeting such as “Hola” (hello) or “¿Cómo estás?” (how are you?).

What I find interesting about greetings in Chile is that they vary depending on the level of familiarity between individuals. The ‘abrazo’ is a way to show a deeper connection and is often reserved for those who are considered close. On the other hand, the kiss on the cheek is a more general form of greeting that can be used with acquaintances or even colleagues in certain situations.

In my personal experience, I have witnessed the ‘abrazo’ being exchanged among friends and family members during gatherings or when meeting after a long time apart. It creates a sense of warmth and closeness, and it is a way to express affection and happiness. The kiss on the cheek, on the other hand, is a common greeting even in more formal settings such as business meetings or social events. It is a way to acknowledge and show respect to the other person.

Greetings in Chile are often characterized by a combination of physical contact and verbal communication. The ‘abrazo’ and the kiss on the cheek are both important forms of greeting that reflect the Chilean culture’s emphasis on personal connections and warmth. Whether it’s among close friends or acquaintances, these greetings play a significant role in establishing and maintaining relationships in Chile.