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Hakuna Matada: The Chilean Way of Da Lo Mismo

There is a saying in Chile, “da lo mismo,” which translates to  "don’t worry about it," sort of like hakuna matada. It is a popular phrase used by Chileans throughout their daily lives. Da Lo mismo describes the Chilean way perfectly.

This phrase has been a coping mechanism for Chileans to deal with their circumstances. Chileans believe that if they take their lives too seriously, they will be miserable. So they joke about everything in order to enjoy their lives to fullest and be happy.

  For a guy who has been constantly handed the tasks of meeting expectations and facing life seriously, Chilean way of "da lo mismo" has been a nice break away from home. A new perspective of approaching life that allowed me to feel free and enjoy life without worries.

One story regarding Da Lo Mismo is that in Chile, people seem to be fine without lists of objectives. Things run smoothly when people can adapt to the actual environment or situation rather than trying to complete their objectives. Maybe it comes from a series of natural disasters that Chile has had, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods, but Chileans seem to adapt well to its situation by not worrying.

Like the Chileans, I've too learned to adapt to my surroundings. No one spoke any English, so I adapted to Spanish. No one ate spicy food, so I adapted to finding salsas that gave me the spicy kick. People walked slower, so I adapted  my pace to walking and enjoying my walk with Chileans.

When studying abroad, you get to enjoy a break from the American way of life and live as if you are a local from that country.

Chile, or other study abroad country of your choice, provides a platform for you to explore new ways of life that you have never experienced before. They are different and it is completely awesome how we get to catch a glimpse of an alternate lifestyle during our times in  foreign places.

Alex Chung is the CEA MOJO in Vina Del Mar, Chile. He is currently a Senior at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

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