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In one of her quotes, Margaret Mead, an American anthropologist, says that understanding other cultures should sharpen our ability to study and love our own more diligently. Let's try to understand the culture of Peru, which is the relationship between Spanish and Amerindian cultures. Peru, located on the west coast of South America, borders Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. The culture of Peru is one of the most diverse in South America. Peruvian culture encompasses art, literature, traditions as well as the Peruvian way of life in some of the most extraordinary ways in all America.
History and Culture of Peru
Peru is one of the most spectacular places in the world and neighbors Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile, as well as Colombia and Ecuador. Peru is a republic and the third-largest country in South America. Nearly half of the population are Quechua and Aymara Indians, with Mestizos accounting for 37% and Creoles 15%. Peru is divided into three different geographical regions: the Andes (Sierra) with peaks captures the most extensive region, then Montania (Peruvian Amazonia) is located further. The capital of the country is the city of Lima. Administrative-territorial division of the country consists of 25 departments. The head of state is the president, and the legislature of Peru is the Democratic Constituent Congress (“An introduction to Peru's history and culture”). In essence, Peru is a regular democratic state with a rather diverse population. This allows the country to develop its culture in a more or less free manner.
Before the colonizers from Spain came to Peru, all the arts developed in stone and pottery, spinning, and unique jewelry. But when the Spaniards appeared in Peru, they began to build houses in the Spanish style in a checkerboard pattern. They erected mansions, churches, and cathedrals in the Spanish Renaissance and Baroque styles. Later, a new style in architecture began to prevail - mestizo. All painting in Peru was also in the manner of Europe, but local artists invented their own direction titled Cusco (after the capital of the country), this is the art of depicting a fantasy world. All Peruvian music is performed only in the folk style. Artistic diversity often reigns in literature as well (Starn et al. 108).
The most important religion in Peru is Catholicism, but the Indians quite often combine various church rites with pagan beliefs. The most commonly spoken language in Peru is Spanish. The Indians who live in the highlands speak two languages, Quechua is the second language. Traditional Peruvian cuisine is very tasty. It often consists of seafood, it is better to try them in the region where they are most common, or rather, it is on the coast, and the Inca delicacy - baked guinea pig, is best eaten, of course, in the highlands (Starn et al. 318). Largely due to its diversity and contemporary openness to culture, the country mages to develop not only culturally but also economically.
Peru is an agricultural country with developed mining and developing manufacturing industries. The main commercial crops are cotton (mostly long-staple), sugar cane, coffee, and cocoa. Cattle, pigs, sheep, llamas, and alpacas are bred. Logging. Fishing (mainly sardines, anchovies). The fish is used mainly for the production of fishmeal. The main branches of the mining industry: the extraction of ores of zinc, lead, copper, iron ore, silver, gold, oil. Food, mainly fishing industry; non-ferrous and ferrous metallurgy, oil refining, chemical, textile industries. Export products of the mining and metallurgical industry include oil and oil products, fishmeal, coffee, cotton, sugar (“An introduction to Peru's history and culture”). The diversity of natural resources found on the country’s territory allows it to be more confident in the international arena or in the Americas at a minimum.
The standard of living in the country is quite low, but in recent years Peru has made a powerful breakthrough in its development, as a result of which people began to live noticeably better. Significant progress and qualitative improvements are visible in all areas of life. A country with the richest potential, with an ancient history and cultural heritage, according to all forecasts, in the coming years should take the lead and give its population the opportunity to live with dignity (Berrios 116-117). By using its resources reasonably, Peru has a very strong potential to become one of the economic and cultural leaders of Latin America.
An excellent souvenir from Peru would be a sweater, poncho or alpaca wool carpet, it is better to buy woolen things in the provinces because they are cheaper there and there is more choice. A bottle of yellow Inca Cola, which is sold in all Peruvian stores (and in no other country), would be a wonderful gift. It's a bit risky to bring in a completely legal mate de coca, tea made from coca leaves, European customs officers can confiscate it. From Cusco, it is worth bringing Inca-styled ceramics and figurines of gods made of wood or pumpkins, as well as silverware. On the islands on Lake Titi-kaka, you can buy inexpensive multi-colored hats, shawls, socks and woven bracelets like no other. These are all features of the cultural diversity of Peru, a magnificent country.
"An Introduction To Peru's History And Culture". Oxford Business Group, 2022, https://oxfordbusinessgroup.com/overview/rich-history-introduction-peru%E2%80%99s-past-and-culture.
Berríos, Rubén. Growth Without Development: Peru In Comparative Perspective. Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.
Starn, Orin et al. The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press, 2009.
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