Thinking back on earlier discussions this year about how in Chile it is essential you cover your mouth when you yawn (something many people from the US don't do, or see a need to do as long as you don't have a ton of food in your mouth or something), and the fact that in Chile nobody bothers, or consciously decides, to say "salud" (functions as does "bless you") when someone sneezes... I realized that I'd never written down my thoughts on one related cultural difference: blowing your nose.
Is it just me, or is it actually pretty universal that the way people blow their nose in Chile is different than in the United States? I remember being surprised by it when I first got here, which makes me think that there must be something to it, but perhaps its another one of those things where I never really took notice until I started observing with confirmation bias.
Trying to put to words the way someone blows their nose was actually much harder than I thought. I even tried to see if someone had a youtube video of nose-blowing but quickly decided that wasn't my route...
In the end I came up with two very strange analogies. From what I remember, most poeple in the US will blow their nose in one huge expulse of air, almost like the "huuuuge push" motion doctors ask for on reality TV when someone has a baby.
However in Chile, people seem to prefer to blow their nose in series of really short bursts of air, where they cut the airflow off in short intervals. The best I can do to relate this is to make you think about the noise we stereotype native americans as making:
(Though thankfully, noseblowing is less of a high schrill than Peter squeeked out there... but you get the idea about the on-off airflow, right?)
Anyway, I'm not sure if its something cultural or something I only notice when I'm looking for it, as turned out with the yawn thing when my mom said we're supposed to be covering our mouths when we yawn in the US also, and most people are just lazy or oblivious to that piece of etiquette.