Thursday, June 12, 2008

Peruvian Culture

Updated 23 April 2014

Peruvian culture is absolutely amazing: from famous authors to handmade crafts, they have it all.

In many cities around Peru, you’ll find evidence of the Spanish occupation. And colonial architecture can be found mainly in churches and cathedrals, however, you may also find preserved building in the old section of towns.

The most famous Peruvian author is Mario Vargas Llosa who was born in 1936. His first novel was The Time of the Hero. Other authors include José María Areguedas (1911-1969) who wrote Deep Rivers and Yawar Fiesta and Ciro Alegría (1909-1967) who wrote The Golden Serpent. As far as poetry is concerned, César Vellejo (1892-1938) is famous for his avant-garde poetry. You can find info about books and libraries in English books.

There are only a handful of Peruvian actors, like Christian Meyer, who have made it to the big screen. Most of the movies shown in cinemas come from Hollywood and are shown in English. Exceptions are movies for children and those from Spain. Since burned DVD are the norm and much less than a cinema ticket (about 3 soles compared to 17 soles), many people simply buy DVD on the street and watch them at home.

You can also watch movies online at DIVX Online. It's like YouTube. The titles are in Spanish, but the movies are usually in English. There's also Cine Gratis or Justin TV, where movies are played often. It's like watching TV without the commercials.

Alpaca wool is used to make sweater, scarves and other woolen goods. It’s expensive, but some of the finest quality you will find. Weaving is also an important craft here in Peru. You’ll also find plenty of handmade jewelry sold by street vendors.

The traditional dance is the marinera. Traditional music is criolla, afro, cumbia, folkloric, and chicha. Some instruments that you may see include the cajón (wooden box), charango (small guitar) or zampoña (panpipes). Reggaton, bachata, salsa are modern music styles that you will often hear in discos. Some black music singers are Susana Baca, Eva Ayllon and Zambo Cavero. Andean singers include Manuelcha Prado and Raúl García Zarate. Jazz singers include Hijos del Sol, Wayruro and Manuel Miranola.

If you can’t move your hips like a Latino, don’t worry, gringos have a reputation for being duros, or stiff. Keep practicing, you’ll get the hang of it. Gianmarco is probably the most famous Peruvian singer to be international known. He recently won the Latin Grammy and spends time between Miami and Lima. Try looking at this music site for more info.



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