Peru: Blend­ing Cul­ture and Life

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

If you travel south­east from China's east coast, across the equa­tor and the Pa­cific Ocean, you will ar­rive in a coun­try, the shape of which re­sem­bles a leop­ard with its ears point­ing straight up. This coun­try is Peru. With a vast ter­ri­tory, abun­dant min­eral re­sources and im­pres­sive cul­ture, Peru is a land of hid­den sto­ries. The charms of an­cient times and fea­tures from colo­nial times blend with moder­nity, form­ing an un­for­get­table cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence and at­tract­ing tourists from all over the world.

This year, the Peru­vian Em­bassy in China placed sev­eral dolls in tra­di­tional cos­tumes in its booth for the Colour­ful World event. Th­ese cos­tumes in­cluded tra­di­tional hats made of wool or straw. How­ever, in the cold An­dean high­lands, peo­ple of­ten wear wool hats with ear flaps that are dec­o­rated with beau­ti­ful geo­met­ric pat­terns. In Lima, skirts are dec­o­rated with red and black em­broi­dered edges; and in the Junín, Ca­ja­marca and Cusco re­gions, women no longer wear black skirts. In­stead, be­neath their skirts are lay­ered cot­ton pet­ti­coats em­broi­dered with gor­geous gold and sil­ver thread.

Capes in Peru date back to the 17th cen­tury, whereas in coastal areas, plan­ta­tion work­ers of­ten wear clothes made of cot­ton or lo­cal fi­bres. In the coun­try's jun­gles, some indige­nous peo­ple wear a kind of loose-fit­ting tu­nic with the two ends stitched to­gether.

The var­i­ous dances in dif­fer­ent re­gions are also ac­com­pa­nied by dif­fer­ent styles of cloth­ing. In the coastal areas of Peru, women no longer wear cot­ton skirts when danc­ing the Marinera, opt­ing for em­broi­dered silk dresses in­stead. In the An­des, dancers of the Danza de Ti­jeras (Scis­sors Dance) even dec­o­rate their ex­quis­ite cos­tumes with small mir­rors, and women em­broi­der images of pa­tron saints on the backs of their dresses.

Peru is the birth­place of the Inca civil­i­sa­tion. Its cul­ture is mainly de­rived from In­dian and Span­ish tra­di­tions, with African, Asian and Euro­pean in­flu­ences. The dolls dressed in tra­di­tional cos­tumes on show at the event were re­flec­tions of th­ese rich cul­tural con­no­ta­tions.

As Peru's best-known World Her­itage Site, Machu Pic­chu at­tracts mil­lions of tourists ev­ery year to ex­plore its ru­ins. Dur­ing the “Col­or­ful World'' event, a large poster of the an­cient city was po­si­tioned in the most vis­i­ble po­si­tion of Peru's booth, at­tract­ing vis­i­tors walk­ing by with its mag­nif­i­cent and mys­te­ri­ous scenery.

In ad­di­tion, the booth also con­tained wool scarves, carved gourds, as well as hand­i­crafts in­clud­ing wooden fig­ures of indige­nous peo­ples wear­ing the na­tional cos­tume. The scarves were cov­ered with com­pli­cated yet neatly-ar­ranged pat­terns; the gourds were painted with lo­cal wildlife; and the wooden fig­ures were su­perbly carved, with ex­pres­sive faces. Th­ese items are not only em­bel­lish­ments for daily life, but also a con­densed dis­play of the his­tory and cul­ture in Peru dur­ing dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods over thou­sands of years.

Dur­ing the “Colour­ful World” event, Juan Car­los Ca­puñay, Peru's am­bas­sador to China, ex­plained that the num­ber of Chi­nese vis­it­ing Peru is in­creas­ing year on year, with Machu Pic­chu and the Ama­zon jun­gle be­ing their favourite des­ti­na­tions. He ex­pressed his hope that more Chi­nese tourists will visit Peru in the fu­ture to ex­pe­ri­ence the coun­try's cul­ture, highly rec­om­mend­ing the na­tion's cap­i­tal, Lima.

Lo­cated on the west coast of South Amer­ica, Lima is Peru's largest city. Its unique geo­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion pro­vides it with a com­fort­able cli­mate and con­ve­nient trans­porta­tion con­di­tions, how­ever it is not just a tran­sit point to other fa­mous at­trac­tions in Peru, but also an im­por­tant place to learn about the coun­try's his­tory and cul­ture. In ad­di­tion, the His­toric Cen­ter of Lima has been recog­nised as a World Her­itage Site, be­cause of its many well-pre­served, an­cient build­ings.

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