Peru

Picture Postcards: Street scene Cusco, Peru

This month we are looking at street scenes around the world here on Picture Postcards. Today’s photo was taken by our contributor Jason, who snapped it in Cusco Peru. He says it is an “Inca lady walking by 500-year old stone walls, carrying produce to market”.

If you’d like to contribute a street scene from your city, all you have to do is label your photo clearly as OK for us to use, tell us what they are about and put them in our Flickr group.

Have a look at some of our other recent photos from:
Thailand
The Channel Islands
New Zealand

May 2, 2011 2 comments

Best of of 2010: a world tour in twenty-three posts

We’d like to say goodbye to 2010 wıth a world tour of favourite posts from each of our contributors. Here they are, in the order in which each one celebrates midnight. Happy New Year!

Marie (New Zealand): The New Zealand Dairy

Where would Kiwis be without the local dairy? Certainly situations such as running out of the milk needed for the perfect cup of tea or not having enough snacks to share while watching a film on TV could get quite hairy.

nz-dairy-clip

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December 31, 2010 2 comments

Ceviche: The taste of summer in Lima

I’ve become a fierce defender of Peru’s culinary heritage. Home in Australia recently, overhearing a man at the next table explaining to his friends that the unfamiliar “Pisco” on the drinks menu is a Chilean spirit, I had to physically restrain myself from leaping to my feet to correct him. I think with shame of a year working in a Brisbane restaurant, in which we all earnestly explained ceviche to curious customers as a Chilean dish.

Ceviche: a classic Peruvian dish

When I mustered the courage to confess this to my Peruvian friends, they shook their heads in disgust. “Chilenos,” they muttered darkly.

There’s a long-standing rivalry between the two countries, and this whole gastronomic controversy doesn’t help matters. Peruvians, and especially those from the coastal regions, are fiercely proud of ceviche, their national dish, and Pisco, the national intoxicant. Now that we’re standing on the verge of the heralded “boom” of Peruvian cuisine, their legacy may seem to be assured, but grudges are still nursed, and the uncomfortable fact remains that ceviche, in one form or another, is prepared and consumed in Mexico, south through Central America and Ecuador, and even in dreaded Chile.

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November 26, 2010 4 comments

What's polite in Peru?

“Pucha, Cam, estás gordita!”

It wasn’t really news that I’d put on a little weight in my month in Australia. It was a month of good cheese – very good, rich, fattening cheese, blue and brie and goats’, the kind I’d missed terribly in Peru. A month of wine and all those Aussie beers I love so much. Dinners out, desserts, birthday cake, Tim Tams. And a distinct lack of the exercise I get in Cusco simply by walking across town at 3,300 metres above sea level.

Image: vvaiting via flickr

Image: vvaiting via flickr

But I certainly didn’t need it pointed out so bluntly. “Geez, Cam, you’re a little fat!” And I really, really didn’t need it pointed out over, and over, and over again, until I finally told the boys that in Australia you don’t dare comment on a woman’s weight, and that I wasn’t seeing the funny.

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October 4, 2010 12 comments

Dance and Drums at Qoyllur Rit'i, Peru

The ukukus in our party wore long, dark, shaggy costumes; black knitted masks pushed back on their heads. Every once in a while they would let out a long wail on a horn, a few sharp blasts on a whistle, or twist their whips in their hands. But otherwise they were like us – clad in thermals, hiking boots peeking out beneath costumes, talking about partners and kids back home.

A remote Andean valleyUntil we had arrived at the yearly religious festival of Qoyllur Rit’i, until we had made the 8 km pilgrimage to this remote Andean valley at 4,700 metres, my partner Gabriel had not even known that his friend John was one of the ukukus. And this is what struck me most about this celebration – its sheer earthiness and humanity. The ukukus, representing half-men half-bears, wield a considerable amount of power and responsibility but unlike the untouchable, elitist tinge of the Catholicism I grew up with, these dancers are men of their communities, jokers, tricksters, men you share a beer with, men who aren’t defined by the role they play here.

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June 17, 2010 1 comment