Posted on | July 28, 2010 | 3 Comments
Today is Independence Day in Peru. The 28th of July celebrates the anniversary of the proclamation of independence made by General Jose de San Martin in 1821. It’s celebrated in a lot of different ways around the country, and here in Lima.
Flags are flown (by law!) on each and every house, although I notice that it doesn’t seem to have been enforced as much this year. While it may be that forced patriotism is a false patriotism, it seems to me that people FEEL more patriotic when they see the flags everywhere. It’s almost like Christmas decorations in the US. Even if you aren’t feeling festive, once you start seeing the signs of the holiday everywhere, you can’t help but fall into the spell.
I also think it’s great how it pulls everyone together. There are events and parades – and everyone wants to see it and be a part. Last night, police were marching down our street, 2 by 2, on both sides of the boulevard. They were in military style camouflage uniforms, and 11 year old Chato ran outside to watch. He saluted a pair, and they saluted back. He was so excited! I like seeing them feel so patriotic about their country.
There are other more lighthearted activities, too. A group of chocolatiers got together and made a giant Peruvian flag from chocolate, using over 100 lbs of chocolate! The chocolate and cacao used was from Peruvian sources, and the makers said they wanted to showcase the quality of Peruvian chocolates (something the size of my behind can vouch for!!).
And really, I think that’s the way many Peruvians celebrate today – with food. What better way to celebrate in a country that’s so famous for it culinary masterpieces? According to the local newspaper, El Comercio, it’s expected that more than 50% of Peruvians will go out for a meal today. Some favorite spots will be the pollerias for pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken), the chifas (Chinese food) and of course, Lurin will be filled to the gills with people eating the delicious chicharron.
Us? We’re staying in this year, and having a little arroz con pollo, something I haven’t cooked in a while. For those of you in Peru, however you’re spending your Fiesta Patria, I hope it’s wonderful and filled with delicious food.
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