Everyday life in Peru
The day usually starts early in Peru. In the country, there is a mate tea for breakfast, along with bread and mote, which are boiled corn kernels. The main meal is at noon. The people here traditionally live in huts made of unfired, air-dried mud bricks, the adobes. Not only here, but also in the townhouses, there is rarely heating – and it can get very cool in the highlands! It is also often windy.
The Indians wear their traditional, colorful clothing. The colorful, hand-knitted hats with ear flaps are called chullos. They not only serve as protection against the cold, but above all as protection against the sun, which shines powerfully in the high mountains of the Andes.
It’s much quieter in the country than in the city. In Lima or Cusco there is often traffic chaos. Although there is poverty and slums in Lima too, overall life here is more like what you know. There are shopping centers and cinemas, parks and restaurants.
Panpipe music is very popular in Peru, and people also like cumbia. Almost every Peruvian is a member of some dance group, including boys and men! Folk dance groups perform at all celebrations and festivals.
And what are the names of the children in Peru?
Particularly popular boy names in Peru are Luis, Alberto, Edgar, Martín, Alejandro, Jorge, and Daniel. You know some of them from Germany. Alejandro is the Spanish version of Alexander. Girls are often called Elisabeth, Rosa, Carmen, María, Patricia, Daniela and Adriana.
Most Peruvians have Spanish surnames such as Flores, Sánchez, Rodríguez or García. But there are also names from the Quechua language. Quispe and Huamán are particularly common. The name Mamani comes from the Aymara. Each child is given two surnames: that of the father and that of the mother. Two are also often chosen for the first names.
Questions and Answers
What is the favorite drink of Peruvians?
The favorite drink of Peruvians – at least in the Andes – is Chicha morada (pronounced: Chicha morada). It is made from a variety of corn that is purple. This maize also grows mainly in the Andes. The whole corn on the cob is boiled in water with pineapple and quince peels as well as cinnamon and cloves. Then you cool everything down, add sugar and lemon juice if you like and finally serve the chicha cold with apple pieces. Mmmh!
Why do Peruvians wear hats with ear flaps?
Long before the Europeans came to South America, the knitted earflap cap was the traditional headgear in the Andes. We also call it the Inca hat. Originally, the chullo was only worn by men. The pattern in which the hat was knitted even said something about the person wearing it, for example what social position he was in.
Above all, the chullo naturally keeps you warm and your ears are protected at the same time! At the same time, however, it also offers protection from the wind and the sun, which shines strongly at high altitudes. Because in the Andes it is quickly warm in the sun during the day, but as soon as the sun is gone, it gets really cold.
Is it true that people in Peru eat guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs are actually on the menu of Peruvians. The animals that are popular with us as pets originally come from South America, where they live both in the grasslands and in the mountains. Just as we eat meat from deer or wild boar, in Peru and other countries you eat guinea pigs. Your name is Cuy here. However, they are no longer hunted, but specially bred in order to then grill them. It takes a bit of getting used to for us that the animals are put on the plate as a whole.
What is Machu Picchu?
Machu Picchu is one of the biggest attractions for tourists in South America. It is an old Inca city. Machu Picchu (pronounced: Matschu Piktschu) means “ancient summit” in Quechua (the language of the Inca and their descendants). The city is located in the middle of the mountains at an altitude of 2360 meters. You can still see today where the Inca had fields, because they laid these fields in terraces below the city.
The city was only rediscovered in 1911. The explorer Hiram Bingham from the USA came across the ruins overgrown by the jungle during an expedition. In the following years the city was exposed again. Today, an average of 2000 visitors come to Machu Picchu every day. This rush endangers the preservation of the old Inca site and a limit is requested.