Happy July 28th from Lima, Peru! For those of you who don’t know…today is Peruvian Independence Day.
I am in the process of receiving my carnet de extranjería (foreign residency card) so I wanted to meander around Lima and figure out where and how I might belong in my new country.
Red & white flags fly over the country. Apparently today is the official holiday yet tomorrow we will see the parades downtown. I constantly get confused about the date because both the 28th and 29th are holidays. I guess Peruvian independence is so much fun you need to take two days to celebrate.
I also noticed today online that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a statement of support to the people of Peru as they celebrate. I think her message about the anniversary of Machu Picchu and the friendship between our countries is a good one. I appreciate that kind of diplomacy coming from the US government.
For my own less dramatic and formal commemoration I took a walk around the Miraflores and Barranco neighborhoods with friends who are visiting the Peru. The central park, Kennedy Park, in Miraflores is full of vendors and special exhibits commemorating the country’s heritage.
I also noticed a separate area where there was a temporary indigenous craft market across from the park.
The indigenous faces, the white European, Asian immigrants and a variety of others physical types form the unique cultural, racial and linguistic heritage which constitutes modern-day Peru.
To celebrate Peruvian Independence Day I did take time to eat one of the countr’s typical dishes…anticucho (beef heart on a stick).
It is not my favorite dish but it did bring me a little closer to feeling that I belong in my new country.