Articles in Culture
Peru’s culture is a set of beliefs, customs and way of life inherited from the native Inca and Spanish conquistadors and settlers. Immigrant groups such as Africans, Japanese, Chinese and Europeans have also contributed to the society, blend of cultures and ways in which Peruvians live. Whatever their ethnic background Peruvians agree on the importance of family and religion. In many cases generations of a family live together where the younger look after the elderly and help each other in difficult times.
Interesting facts about Peru. Facts about society, economy, population, history, tourism, food and geography.
Peru’s complex social system and its hierarchical values were inherited from colonial times and continue as guidelines and principles that regulate social and interpersonal behavior that have become part of the culture of Peru. Before the arrival of Europeans the territory was populated by Peru’s ethnic population known as Amerindians. Colonization brought slavery and the decline of the local population due to foreign diseases. Today Peru’s ethnic composition is mixed.
Peruvian cuisine varies depending on where you are. Due to Peru’s ecological and climatic diversity the variety and supply of fresh produce is plentiful, there are many native Peruvian crops such as quinoa potato, kiwicha, cacao and beans. Peruvian cuisine has been influenced by a variety of cultures brought by the arrival of immigrants from Spain, Africa, Italy, Japan and China. One of the most influential immigrant community is the Chinese who produced one of the most popular Peruvian gastronomical creations, Chifa. Chifa is a fusion of Chinese food adapted to local ingredients and accompanied by a local cola drink, Inka Cola.
Peruvian food in the coast is based on seafood. The Pacific coast is the provider of many species of fish and shellfish. The most famous dish is ceviche. Ceviche is raw seafood marinated in lime or lemon juice, garlic, onions, hot peppers; it is served with potatoes, sweet potatoes, yucca or maize. You can have scallop, white sea bass or corvina, calamari, shrimp, mixed and endless variations of ceviche.
Since the Inca Civilization people living in the Andes have based their diet on potatoes, maize and meat. Soups and stews are among the most popular dishes. Everything goes into it including meat, many kinds of potatoes, maize, carrots, local spices and hot peppers. They are cooked for hours because of the lower oxygen at high altitude.
Food of the Peruvian Amazon is rich in local fresh water fish. Bananas is a staple food that accompanies almost every dish. In the Amazon there is plentiful of fruits such as papayas, maracuya or passion fruit, paw-paw, chirimoya or custard, apple and mangoes among others and is part of the everyday meals of the population.
The Incas used one word “taqui” to describe dance, music and singing, though this word in Quechua means “song”. They did not differentiate among the three, they were strictly interconnected. Their music was pentatonic, based in the combination of five notes: re, fa, sol, la and do. Music reached through all the corners of the empire, social classes and activities. There were countless songs, tunes and dances which were related to most human activities and were represented by gestures, moves and costumes.
The Tumi is a ceremonial knife made of bronze, gold, silver or copper and usually made of one piece. Its handle has a rectangular or trapezoidal shape, its length varies but it always exceeded the width of a hand. At the bottom there is a sharp semicircular blade. Tumis were used during ceremonies to sacrifice an animal in honor of a god.
The tumi was adopted by the government of Peru as a symbol to promote tourism. Many people in Peru hang a tumi on their walls for good luck.
Inca art was practical. The Incas were an artistic people who used materials available to them in nature and blended them creating many artistic forms in utilitarian ways. Much of their artistic expression was used in everyday life and had a [intlink id="inca-religion" type="post"]religious meaning[/intlink]. Because they did not know science they had to attach powers to natural phenomena worshiping natural resources such as water streams or rocks, animals and almost anything related to nature and the best way to worship was to incorporate their best artistic creations in their offerings to the gods.