Culture of Peru - history, people, clothing, traditions, women, beliefs, food, customs, family
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It is not a coincidence that these populations are the ones with the least amount of formal schooling or secondary education. Meanwhile, political office and high-level financial positions are traditionally occupied by both the white and mestizo elite.
These individuals tend to have at least a secondary school education, although the majority of the time the positions are much more a result of family relationships than personal merit. Peru also suffers from a "brain exodus" fuga de cerebros since many of its most capable and educated professionals have left the country for better paying and more secure jobs abroad.
Social Stratification Classes and Castes. Peru does not recognize any official form of caste system but in fact its treatment of the indigenous population can be seen in many ways as an implicit caste arrangement. In Peru's racial hierarchy, very much a remnant of its colonial past, whites occupy the highest rung of the ladder while the rest of the population clings to the lowest part depending on their skin color and implied cultural status.
Class also plays a significant role in the social structure, superimposing itself upon the skewed racial hierarchy of the country. Not surprisingly, whites tend to occupy the highest positions in the country and also posses the greatest amount of schooling.
The class arrangement, however, is somewhat more fluid and Apartments in suburban Lima.
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The architecture of the city is strongly influenced by the Spanish colonizers. But to a great degree these are individual exceptions that testify to, rather than question, the harsh caste and class arrangement present in Peru.
Symbols of Social Stratification. Language and dress are the most common symbols to designate either caste or class differences in Peru. Native American communities still maintain their indigenous languages such as Quechua, Aymara, and the lesser known Indian languages spoken by the Amazon groups.
Many of these Indian communities have also maintained some form of traditional dress that identifies them as belonging to their group of origin. Both the colonial legacy and the contemporary market economy have contributed to widespread competition for Western status markers. The ownership of cars, expensive clothing, knowledge of English or other foreign languages, and modern appliances are typical markers of elite status in contemporary Peru.
Meanwhile lower-class Peruvians can be seen wearing secondhand clothes and battling to survive almost on a day-to-day basis.
The constitution decrees a popularly elected president serving a five-year term. The president selects the prime minister who presides over the rest of the ministers, who comprise the cabinet.
The country also possesses a unicameral legislature of senators, popularly elected to five-year terms. Meanwhile judges are elected to the Supreme Court by the president himself from a list of nominees submitted by the National Justice Council.
The judges must be approved by the Senate before they are sworn into office and are allowed to serve until they reach seventy years of age. Leadership and Political Officials. Peru, not unlike most other South American nations, is very prone to populism, that is, to vote for and support the most charismatic figures of the political leaders. In the last three decades of the twentieth century alone, there were four such figures who were able to achieve the presidency: Candidates rather than parties or ideologies, however, are the key voting elements in electing people into office.
It is also typical for parties to be formed or rallied around individuals considered to have good chances of being elected. Social Problems and Control. Peru has faced the serious challenge of one of the most ruthless guerrilla groups on the continent, popularly known as the Shining Path Sendero Luminoso.
Since erupting in the early s, the armed struggle between the Shining Path and the Peruvian state has cost over thirty thousand lives and has helped to justify the increasing police and military repression.
This has meant a greater military presence in the cities and a significant increase in the incarceration of both males and females. In the s jails also became a target of military crackdowns since in several prisons their educational administrations were controlled by the inmates rather than by the police. Also during this decade, because of the increasingly violent threats made on judges, secret trials where the judges remained hooded were carried out. The increase of the cocaine drug trade also contributed to a greater United States presence in the country and more military activity in the eastern Andean slopes where 80 percent of the world's coca used in cocaine production is harvested.
Between the guerrilla presence including that of other groups, such as the Tupac Amarudrug trafficking, and general conditions of poverty, the judicial system is continuously under attack for its real deficiencies and questionable practices. The Peruvian military is composed approximately ofpersons, divided as follows: Almost 2 percent of the gross domestic product is spent on defense. Peru has had major wars with two neighboring countries: Its first war with Chile called the Pacific War in the late s was a great reversal and resulted in a loss of territory for Peru.
Its more recent armed struggles with Ecuador in the s, s, and s had a much more positive territorial and diplomatic outcome for Peru.
Because of the unstable social conditions, guerrilla warfare, and the drug trade, however, Peru's military in the late twentieth century concentrated more on maintaining internal order than in fighting national wars. Social Welfare and Change Programs The Peruvian government has traditionally been involved with national health and social security benefits; however, the government has had very limited success in providing Peruvian citizens with adequate care in both areas. In terms of national health programs, the lack of sufficient doctors and nurses, adequate hospital facilities, competent rural medicine agenda, and general funding has contributed to a deficient health system.
Modernization, which looks to privatize many of the social services provided by the Peruvian state, has also had a negative impact on social welfare programs.
Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations The main nongovernmental organizations NGOs in Peru are strongly linked to human rights, ethnic identity, and women's issues.
There has also been concerted efforts to encourage and support social welfare programs but they have met with limited results. Among these programs the three most successful have been the comedores populares soup kitchensvaso de leche glass of milkand wawa wasis child care centers. These scare tactics have even impacted international NGOs making them less willing to support development programs in Peru. Men and women have traditionally occupied different labor roles. Since Incan times, women customarily but not exclusively were in charge of weaving and minor agricultural obligations while men took care of road construction, farming, and military obligations.
A division of labor by gender is even further reinforced today. There are also areas, however, where this division is being blurred. As women gain more training and formal education, traditional occupations A farm worker stands in a harvested field holding a threshing fork. About one-third of Peru's workforce traditionally consisted of farmers. At the same time the large local and international migration has left women in charge of households and forced them to get involved in social movements and in the fight for progressive change.
The Relative Status of Women and Men. Although some would argue otherwise, Peru could be described as a patriarchal society.
Men are preferentially treated in most, if not all, aspects of society. Sons are preferred over daughters, are given more freedom, and are less burdened with household chores and family obligations. In theory men are expected to marry and provide for their families. There are, however, large numbers of female-run households where the mother has to work and provide for her children. Meanwhile, it is a common social practice for men to have other female lovers and children outside of their initial marriage.
Marriage, Family and Kinship Marriage. In general, Peruvians have free choice about who they can or cannot marry, with class and money being the two most significant variables in terms of marriage decisions. Many couples decide to live together as opposed to getting married because of their lack of resources for carrying out both the legal and religious ceremonies.
Lack of economic resources is also a key reason for couples to continue to live with one of the spouses' families until they are financially secure enough to move out on their own.
Heterosexual and monogamous marriages are the only ones sanctioned by the state and the Catholic Church, although men having more than one household is tolerated and even expected.
Divorce and remarriage are very much a legal possibility but the Catholic Church and the conservative society strongly frowns upon remarriage following a Catholic or other religious ceremony.
The Peruvian model for a domestic unit is the Western nuclear family. Nevertheless, because of traditional indigenous traditions and scant resources, extended kin can also be the norm.
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Men in general have the highest authority within the house, although women also have much of the decision-making power, especially concerning children and family matters, even though it tends not to be explicitly recognized.
Males and females have equal legal rights in regard to inheritance, although in some instances women must either work harder or get Market in the Sacred Valley.
In Peru's informal economic sector, street vendors sell anything from food to flowers. Unlike most urban Peruvians over two-thirds of the countrythe rural populations still maintain strong ties to their extended kin.
Many rural populations, even when they have moved to urban centers, recognize their ties to large extended kin groups known as ayllus. Since pre-Hispanic times ayllus have defined land distributions, social obligations, and authority figures within each kin group.
At present, ayllus still play a powerful part in defining people's roles and obligations in village social structures. Indian mothers tend to carry their infants in colorful slings upon their backs even while performing trying agricultural labor. Indian mothers also openly nurse their children in public places, seeing it as a natural function, a practice that is shunned by the more Westernized mestizo and white mothers.
Child Rearing and Education. Boys and girls are strongly encouraged to attend grade and high school although either lack of money or the need for a child's labor at home persuades many lower-class families to keep their children from attending public schools. In general children are brought up to be respectful of their elders, obedient, and hard working. The oldest university in South America is located in Peru.
Public universities have recently suffered from a credibility crisis because of their large graduation numbers and the increasing infiltration of leftist political groups.
This has also contributed to the emergence of several private including Catholic universities, which have developed much more discriminating characteristics for admissions and graduation.
Etiquette Possibly as a legacy of the strongly hierarchical pre-Hispanic cultures or European colonialism, self-discipline is strongly advocated among Peruvians. The control of one's emotions and feelings is highly valued among all Peruvians, but especially among men.
Respect for elders, shown through such actions as giving up one's seat for elderly people on buses, also has a strong place among public values. These values of discipline and respect for others are in sharp contrast to a political scene marked with great levels of authoritarianism and widespread corruption. Youths are also responsible for providing a strong alternative counterculture to main normative values. This counterculture is mainly expressed through musical outlets, such as the national adaptation of rock and punk music, and North American tastes in fashion and popular culture.
Public expressions of sexuality, including that of homosexual behavior, is strongly discouraged. Peru prides itself on being a Catholic country since the late s. At present, about 90 percent of the population are Catholics while the other 10 percent belong to Protestant faiths, the most important being Evangelists, Adventists, and Mormons.
Indigenous communities have also created a symbiotic form of religion not really recognized with any other name than a popular form of Catholicism. Indian groups have mixed Catholic saints with pre-Hispanic traditions, thus allowing them to maintain ancient forms of worship under the guise of Catholic rituals.
For example, the indigenous feast of the Inti Raymi summer solstice is celebrated in many communities as the feast days of Saints Peter and Paul.
In the Catholic tradition male priests, especially bishops and archbishops, still demand an enormous amount of respect and authority. Nuns come in second place and are well respected for their religious commitment to sexual abstinence, obedience, and poverty. Rituals and Holy Places. Huacas sacred mountain places are still deemed sacred deity dwellings that demand the respect and veneration of the indigenous populations.
The Spanish Catholic missionaries were very aware of these Andean practices, which is why many Catholic churches were built on top of huacas and other pre-Hispanic temples. Death and the Afterlife. Peruvians' notion of an afterlife very much follows Catholic notions of heaven, purgatory, and hell. Even indigenous groups have been heavily influenced by the Christian notions of Armageddon and rebirth.
In Indian communities there are long-standing traditions of millenarians and of the second coming of the Inca ruler to punish the white colonizers. Medicine and Health Care Life expectancy in Peru is sixty-seven years, which is quite high considering the serious deficiencies in the country's public health systems. Only two-thirds of its population has access to public medical attention, and only 25 percent of those living in conditions of extreme poverty.
In general, misinformation, poverty, and malnutrition are the greatest impediments to improving the country's health conditions. Since the mids there has been a concerted effort to combat infant mortality and to implement national infant vaccination campaigns that have proven quite successful.
Along with Western medicine there is still a tradition of curanderos natural healersand parteras midwives who are still regularly consulted, especially by the rural and Indian population. Remaining structures of the ruined city of Machu Picchu, built by the Incas in the Andes.
Secular Celebrations The major secular Peruvian celebrations are National Independence Day celebrated three consecutive days, 28, 29, and 30 July ; the Battle of Arica 7 June ; and Carnival a movable holiday celebrated on the three days just before Catholic Lent.
Religious festivities with the exception of Christmas used to have a greater level of public celebration than they do in modern times. All holidays tend to be celebrated with large quantities of food, alcoholic beverages, sports mainly soccer and volleyballand general gaiety and relaxation. The Arts and Humanities Support for the Arts. Because of the difficult economic conditions of the country, the arts in general are one of the areas the government least supports.
Peru boasts a world-class literary selection of authors, starting with writers such as Ricardo Palma — who was the first to utilize Peruvian themes in his writing. Peru has a long artistic tradition, starting with the famous colonial painting and sculpture schools of Lima, one of the most accomplished schools on the continent. Theater had an early start in the colonial period and the country also maintains a National Symphony Orchestra, a national ballet company, as well as folk dance companies.
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The country's difficult political conditions as well as the limited resources of the universities have seriously limited the general advancement of the physical and social sciences.
The World Is Broad and Alien, Violence against Women in Peru's Armed Conflict, The Struggle for Utopia in the Peruvian Amazon, A World for Julius, Permiso para vivir Antimemorias Inca Cosmology and the Human Body, An Opportunity Lost, Household and Class Relations: Peasants and Landlords in Northern Peru, El surgimiento de Sendero Luminoso, Business and Politics in Peru: The State and the National Bourgeoisie, In Search of the Poor in Jesus Christ, A Guide to the People, Politics, and Culture, Ecology and Ritual in an Andean Village, The Rough Guide, Las mujeres de Sendero Luminoso, Modernization, Dislocation, and Aprismo: The Origin of Peru's Aprista Pary, —, The Andes Viewed from the City: History and Political Discourse on the Indian in Peru, —, The Peruvian Experiment, The Peoples and Cultures of Ancient Peru, Religion in the Andes, The Making of Post-colonial Mexico and Peru, Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality, La reforma agraria en el Peru, Home Peruvian dating culture It or biological sex is basically the wonderful material dating a quest to consider when dating culture.
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