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Peru: Celebrating Independence Day

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July 28 was the 186th anniversary of Peru's independence from Spain, and Peruvian bloggers took time to post about this celebration. On this occasion, I am going to share posts from blogs I hadn't visited before, and I hope that beyond these posts, you discover other blogs you normally don't read.

A common theme among most of these posts is a sense of humor. At first glance, it may appear people in Peru don't take the National Holiday seriously. I don't think so. I think bloggers are happy to celebrate Peru's birthday but feel they don't want to become bitter with the contradictions and injustice there exists in our country, as does in many other countries in this world.

Let's begin with Muriel, the blogger behind Pequeños Laberintos [ES], who in her July 28 post, gives us her Reasons why MY Peru is super…:

1. Acá viven las personas más queridas de mi vida, llámense familia y amigos.
2. Tiene un mar de 200 millas, lleno de peces diversos y ¡ricos!
3. Se puede pescar en Caballitos de Totora.
4. El cebiche es un plato riquísimo.
5. Como el Tiradito ninguno.
6. Encontramos de todo, desde sol, calor, arena, playa, pasando por nevados, punas, frío, y terminando en climas tropicales.
7. Donde quiera que vayamos encontramos gente sincera y dispuesta a ayudar.
8. Tenemos mil y un danzas coloridas, cada una con su propio significado.
9. Las fiestas religiosas son especiales en cada pueblo, y diferentes también.
10. Chan-Chan, Kuelap y Machu Picchu, son apenas una pequeña muestra de lo que podemos encontrar.

1. This is where the most beloved people in life live, my family and friends.
2. Peru has a 200-mile wide ocean, full of diverse and delicious fish!
3. You can fish using the ‘caballitos de totora’ (traditional reed boats).
4. Peruvian ceviche is delicious.
5. There is nothing like a delicious tiradito.
6. We can find everything here, sunshine, heat, sand, beaches, glaciers, mountains, cold, and tropical climates.
7. Wherever you go, you find sincere people, eager to help.
8. We have a thousand and one colorful dances, each with its\nown significance.
9. The religious festivals in each town are special and
10. Chan Chan, Kuelap, and Machu Picchu are just some of the things we find in Peru.

Another young blogger, carmendelly, of the blog Escribiendo sólo para mi [ES], is full of patriotic feelings as she makes a list of her promises to her country in the post titled, I am from Peru, ladies and gentlemen! I AM FROM PERU! These are some of her promises:

2. Prometo informarme bien cuando vengan las próximas elecciones electorales, municipales o presidenciales, para no votar por un ratero de mela, que luego no haga nada y se gaste la plata en son de la democracia.. que se pudra…
5. Prometo empezar por lo más mínimo, no arrojaré basura a la calle, no me quedaré callada cuando asalten a alguien, trataré al extranjero con amabilidad, no ensuciaré el mar…
7. Prometo comer y dar a conocer tu comida, tus costumbres, tus bailes, tus colores, tus aromas, tus calles, tus playas, tus parques, tus provincias, tu gente, nos lagos, ríos, cerros, etc etc.

2. I promise to be highly informed when the next municipal, regional, or presidential elections come around, so I don't end up voting for a crook who doesn't do anything, and spends our money all the time mouthing the word ‘democracy'… Let them rot…
5. I promise to begin with the smallest act, I will not litter the street, I will not remain silent when someone is getting mugged, I will treat foreigners in a friendly manner, I will not pollute the ocean…
7. I promise to eat and let others know about our cuisine, customs, dances, colors, scents, streets, beaches, parks, provinces, hills, etc., etc….

A few days ago, El Tonto de la Colina [ES] posted a sarcastic list of things that, according to him, should give him Pride in being peruvian. I chose a couple of them for your enjoyment:

1.- Los peruanos tenemos fé. No importa cuantas veces los políticos nos engañen, cuantas veces nuestra selección quede en último lugar, o cuantas veces nos hagan el carrusel con nuestro dinero, los peruanos seguimos creyendo en el futuro. En otros paises han hecho revoluciones por menos de eso. Pero aquí la fé nos mantiene vivos.
4.- El peruano nunca se aburre. Siempre la vida cambia día a día en el Perú. Nuevas leyes, disposiciones, trabas, hacen que nos mantengamos alertas. La ruta a mi trabajo cambia cada semana debido a obras, construcciones, marchas, huelgas o al simple afán del chofer de la combi en ganarle la carrera al otro, por lo tanto, el paisaje nunca es el mismo. Del mismo modo, siempre hay un escándalo del que hablar, ya sea político, deportivo o chisme del espectáculo (las fronteras entre estos temas se hacen cada vez más difusas, dicho sea de paso), que nos mantiene entretenidos. Por eso los peruanos en otros países se aburren tanto que prefieren trabajar. Gracias a eso los peruanos tienen una fama ganada como gente trabajadora en otros países.

1. Peruvians have faith. No matter how many times politicians trick us, how many times our national football team ends up in last place, or how many times [politicians] play around with our money, Peruvians still believe in the future. In other countries, revolutions have occurred for less than that. But here, faith keeps us alive.
4. Peruvians are never bored. Life is always changing in Peru. New laws, new initiatives, new hurdles, keep us on our toes. The route to my job changes weekly because of public works, construction, marches, strikes, or simply, the desire of the bus driver to beat the other ones in their [daily] race. So, the landscape is never the same. By the same token, there is always a scandal to talk about and keep us entertained, whether it be political, in sports, or from the Peruvian entertainment world (although, may I add, the boundaries between these three areas are becoming increasingly blurred). Peruvians who live in other countries become so bored they prefer to work. That's why Peruvians have the reputation as hard-working people in other countries.

El Pensieve de Dinorider [ES] in his brief post, “It's cool to be a ‘cholo'! Happy 28th!” shares a video of a beloved character from commercials, and also comments on the small earthquake that hit on at 9 a.m. on July 28th

Para discursos de 28 de julio me quedo con el de Abuela Rina … A propósito de lo que dice la abuela, eso del himno es cierto, el que actualmente suena no es el que debía ser. … ¡Felíz Día de la Independencia del Perú!

P.D. Alguien sintió el temblor en La Ciudad de los Reyes? Yo estaba en duda si eran los animales jugando o si era temblor en verdad.

As far as July 28th speeches, I prefer the one by Grandma Rina. … By the way, according to what the grandmother says, that national anthem is the right one, the one we use currently is not the one we should have. …Happy Peruvian Independence Day!
P.S Did anyone feel the earthquake in Lima? I wasn't sure if it was the animals\nplaying around or if it really was an earthquake.

Frenopático, in his diary-like blog, Desde mi Habitación en el Larco Herrera [ES] (Larco Herrera is Lima's main psychiatric hospital) expresses his desires for his fellow citizens in his post Day 233 – Happy 28th of July!!!:

Feliz 28 de julio pe… a todos… Felices Fiesta Patrias!!!!
Coman su anticuchos y una buena porcion de Picarones
Tomen su chocolate con paneton!!…
Vayan al chifita Cuchitril o al Basuron
o pasen por donde la tia Haydeee para
que prueben su rica razon!!!
no se olviden de su Chelita y el cebichito
o un pan con chicharrron

Happy 28 of July, yeah … to everyone… Happy Independence Day!!!!
Eat your ‘anticuchos’ (Peruvian brochettes) and a good portion of ‘picarones’ (pumpkin fritters)
Drink hot chocolate and eat panettone
Head out to a chifa (Chinese-Peruvian restaurant) or any hole in the wall,
or to Aunt Haydee's house to sample her homemade cooking.
Don't forget the beer and ceviche
or a pork sandwich.

Turning serious for a moment, the folks at Educando Perú [ES] in their post Happy Day Peru, Happy Day Friends, reflect on what Peruvian is and what it means to be Peruvian. To do so, they recall the time when what we call the Peruvian nation was formed:

Nosotros los peruanos empezamos a formarnos como una sola nación cuando nació el primer mestizo, hijo de español e india. El primer mestizo destacado fue el Inca Garcilazo de la Vega. Él se creía español porque admiraba a su padre y los indios lo veían como tal, pero se sintió indio cuando estuvo entre los españoles porque lo despreciban. Eso somos los peruanos: una fusión de culturas, somos mestizos por la cultura, más que por raza.

Desde el inca Garcilaso estamos forjando nación: El Perú. Ya no somos españoles, ya no somos indígenas. Nuestros nombres y apellidos quechuas y españoles se mezclan libremente y forman nuestra personalidad histórica. Eso somos.

We Peruvians began to form one single people when the first mixed-race child was born, the child born of a Spanish man and an Indian woman. The first mixed-race person of note was Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. He believed himself to be Spanish because he admired his father and because the Indians saw him as such; but, he also felt himself to be Indian when he was with Spaniards because they rejected him. That is what we Peruvians are: a fusion of cultures, a mix of our culture, more than our race.
Since Inca Garcilaso, we have been creating a nation: Peru. We are no longer Spanish, we are no longer Indians. Our names and surnames, which are both Quechua and Spanish, are mixed freely and create our historic personality. That is who we are.

Nonetheless, not everyone feels so patriotic. Pipo, after saying that a country is mostly the people who comprise it, later complains about the people who surround him in his post Patriotism? in which he publishes a list of the excuses young people use in order to… do nothing:

Mentalidad de la gente ociosa y mediocre:
– Fin de semana hay tono, no puedo faltar
– Mi flaca(o) me llama, voas pasar todo el bendito dia con el(la)
– Enero, uy, no estudio, recien comienza el año pe`
– Febrero, ah no! carnavales!, mes de diversiòn y yapla
– Marzo, pucha, que acabe el verano todavia
– Mayo, oh no! dia de la virgencita, mes de reflexion ps
– Junio, dia del campesino, voa la serrania a acompañar a los peruanos trabajadores
– Julio, mes de la patria compare, mi patria antes que todo
– Agosto, cometa ps
– Octubre, me preparo pa hallowen obviamenteee, y pa la cancion criolla ;)
– Noviembre nooo ps, dia de los muertos… solemnidad
– Diciembre, navidad pe, jesusito y los regalos primero

The mentality of mediocre and lazy people:
– There's a party this weekend and I can't miss it.
– My girl/boyfriend calls me to spend all the blessed day with her/him.
– January, yikes, I'm not studying, the school year is just beginning, man.
– February, no way, it's Carnival month, full of fun and beach.
– March, heck, let the summer end first.
– May, oh no! it's the Day of the Virgin, it's a month for reflection, dude.
– June, it's the Day of the Farmers, I have to go to the mountains to accompany the Peruvian peasants.
– July, it's the month of Peru …. my country above all else.
– August, it's for flying kites, bro.
– October, obviously I have to get ready for Halloween and the Day of the Creole Song ;)
– November, nooo way, Day of the Dead… we have to be solemn.
– December, Christmas of course, Jesus and presents come first.

As a counterpoint, El Entrometido [ES] has no problem saying, Excuse me if I am a patriotic, and offers us some of the verses of his work, from which I have taken these lines:

Por tu gente —que es mi gente—,
por tu pueblo —que es el mío—,
por la fuerza de tu río
que atraviesa el continente.
Por cada mujer valiente
que resiste como tú,
por el chamán, el gurú,
el pisco y la marinera,
por tu blanca cordillera,
grito: ¡Qué viva el Perú!

For your people —who are my people—,
for your country —that is mine—,
for the power of your river
that crosses the continent.
For every courageous woman.
who stands as strong as you do,
for the shaman, the guru,
pisco and marinera,
for your snow-clad mountains,
I shout: Viva Peru!

Finally, and for those who ask themselves why so much ballyhoo about Peru and being Peruvian, I am going to leave you with three posts. The first one from marcayuq- crónicas desde un avispero [ES] features some Peruvian beauties in the post titled Peruvian babes!!! (They're all pretty fine!!!) (a post inspired, I think, in the one titled: Peruanazos, an interesting photographic report on everyday Peruvians, by the blogger at menoscanas [ES]). Then, Sad-Bastard-Music [ES] has a post titled Our musical mix for the National Holidays…, which has an excellent compilation of Peruvian rock. (You can also visit pop amor … el problema no eres tu, somos nosotros [ES] to hear cuts from We Are Peruvian Rockers). Finally, Alejandro of Peru Food [EN], in July 28: Happy Peruvian Independence Day!, posts a wonderful video titled Perú Land of the Inkas, which I recommend seeing to those who don't know much about my country. Personally, I can say I have had the good fortune to travel quite a bit within Peru, and I've been to most of the places seen in the video. However, there is still much for me to visit. From Peru, Happy July 28th to all!!!

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The photographs used in this post are from the stage set up in Lima's main square, the Plaza de Armas, for the parade held on July 25 in honor of Peruvian Independence Day. I took one in the morning when they were still setting up; and, another in the evening, once the event was over.

Traducido por Alejandro García.

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