Chile Protests Columbus Day

A Protester in Traditional Mapuche Dress- Many were dressed in traditional costumes and carried Mapuche flags. Courtesy of BBC Online
‘How do I define history? It’s just one fuckin’ thing after another.’ Rudge said famously in one of my favourite movies, the classic History Boys in 2006.

People don’t always realise how important history can be in certain parts of the world and how, even over 500 years later, the wounds of the past can still affect the people of today.

Take the discovery of the West Indies by Christopher Columbus in 1492. For millions his discovery is the start of what would eventually be their home countries but for many its the start of when their homeland got destroyed.

Yesterday marked the 519th anniversary of when Columbus made landfall on 12th October 1492 and to mark this there have been celebrations all over the Americas. The day has been celebrated under various different names across the landmass for centuries despite only becoming a national holiday in the 20th century. However, for the Mapuche people of Chile it is seen as a day of mourning. Continue reading Chile Protests Columbus Day