Peru: Blending Culture and Life
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.