Life in Peru is quite particular, consisting of a blend of culture and ancient traditions. Find an overview of the Peruvian lifestyle in this article.
If you are planning to relocate in Peru, you will probably wonder what life is all about in the country. Hence, it is best to inquire on its population's lifestyle before moving there so that you don't have much trouble in adapting. In a general way, Peru has a deep historical and cultural heritage, blending religion with music, dance and traditions. Indeed, Peruvians are very attached to their culture and traditions and never miss a single occasion to demonstrate it. So welcome in the Land of Incas!
Religion and beliefs
Religion plays a predominant role in the lives of Peruvians. Christianity is not yet widespread in the country due to some protest. However, many tend to mix ancient beliefs with new religions so as to find the right balance and to make sure that these will be passed on from one generation to another.
Thus, Indians idolize the Sun, the Moon and Earth. Magic is still very present, especially with those who live in the middle of nature and in remote villages. People will often visit the curanderos, who are traditional healers with ancient methods and cures. These never fail to arouse the curiosity of doctors around the world.
Mindset and attitude
The family is deemed to be sacred in Peru. In fact, most households are occupied by several generations living under the same roof, that is grand-parents, parents and children. The father is considered as the head of the family while the wife takes care of household chores, regardless of their social status.
On meeting new people, Peruvians will generally be familial, unless they are the elderly or they belong to a higher rank. Foreigners, for their part, are called “Gringos”, meaning foreigners. So do not be surprised to be called “Gringo” in a friendly way.
Music is undeniably the most popular form of art present in Peru. The bamboo flute can still boast about being the representative of the Land of Incas elsewhere in the world. But nowadays, it is generally accompanied by the modern rhythm of Spanish guitars in a melodious way, adapted to folk music.
European music is gradually trying to break through in Peru. However, folk music remains rather strong as opposed to North American music. Salsatecas are still quite popular. People are likely to dance all night to the melodious rhythm of Latino American music.
Handicraft, for its part, has been inherited from pre-Columbians who used to master pottery, wood and stone carving, as well as weaving.
The Peruvian cuisine is known to be one of the whole world's most diversified cuisines. It includes, namely seafood, potatoes, maize, exotic fruits, rice and spices. As regards meat, the Peruvian cuisine's specialty is pork.
You are likely to have a hearty meal at lunch time. Diner, for its part, is lighter and is taken relatively late. Note, moreover, that chilli is comparable to pepper for Europeans. It is a basic ingredient for several dishes and used as dressing and flavoring so as to add color and taste.
Traditional festivals and public holidays
A dozen public holidays are celebrated in Peru, namely New Year, Labor Day, the Easter Week, the National Day, Christmas and All Saints Day, etc. Despite its deep dedication to traditions, the country has managed to adapt its calendar according to several Catholic festivals as its population consists of many Roman Catholics.
In fact, some 3,000 popular festivals are celebrated on the regional or national levels all year round. These are often meant to pay tribute to a holy patron such as Santa Rosa de Lima, patron of the National Police, celebrated on August 30th. The Lord of Miracles, for its part, is celebrated from October 18th to 28th. During this period, worshipers dress up in purple and get together to accompany the Holy Patron of Lima through the streets of Lima's city-center.
In May or July, the American indigenous pilgrimage also takes place in the honor of the Lord Qoyllur Rit’i. More than 10,000 pilgrims converge to the limits of lasting snows at the foot of Mont Ausangate, at 4,700 meters high.
In all cases, festivals are the occasion for people to get down in the street to pay a tribute to a divinity or celebrate a national or religious event.
Peru Tourism Portal – Culture www.peru.travel/en-uk/what-to-do/peru-of-living-cultures.aspx
Peru Tourism Portal – Cuisine www.peru.travel/en-uk/what-to-do/peru-of-today/food.aspx
Peru Tourism Portal – Peruvian recipes www.peru.travel/en-uk/what-to-do/peru-of-today/food/peruvian-food-recipes.aspx
Peru Tourism Portal – Festivities and events www.peru.travel/en-uk/what-to-do/festivities-and-events.aspx
About Travel – Go Peru goperu.about.com