Friday, August 3, 2012

Fiestas Patrias

Felices Fiestas Patrias was written all over everything last weekend. July 28th marked the 191st anniversary of the independence of Perú from Spain. People get pretty rowdy but I can only imagine how the 200th anniversary is going to be. I will most likely be here to celebrate too!

Anyway, independence day is celebrated much like it is in the States in that there is a parade and people have barbeques and family gatherings. However, the parade happened the day before in Cusco and included all the civil sectors of Cusco meaning police (can't forget the ever necessary transit and tourist police), military, firefighters, water and high mountain rescue teams, ambulances etc. It was a great day and Marco did a wonderful job in the military portion. There is no such thing as a parade like the one in Evanston I saw for the 4th in Peru. It just doesn't happen. See for yourself below.

There is a message from the president on the 28th and that is pretty much it in terms of official celebrations on the actual day of independence. It 2 hours long and is essentially like the president of the United States State of the Union address. The following day, the 29th, there is a huge military parade in which every section of the armed services and police take part. It is pretty cool watching all of them march together. Representatives from Chile and Ecuador militaries  joined as well which is kind of funny to me considering it's not their country but, hey, it's nice to see some friendly gestures especially since Chile and Peru aren't exactly best of friends. Marco and I relaxed as he pointed out the different people he knew. Next year he will definitely be in that parade when we are Lima.

Military marching in Cusco            


A man dressed as a butterfly in Evanston      

I made sure to celebrate in my own way by dressing up in white and red and singing with the Guardians at Ice in the evening of the 28th. It was super fun and the place filled up as soon as we started singing. It was the first time we played with Gabe on his full drum set and while my violin could barely be heard over everything, I was told by my friend Cindy that I sang well. It was a fun night. I was happy that I had the energy because the night before Marco and I went out dancing and to karaoke with friends til the wee hours of the morning. Overall, it was a fantastic fiestas patrias!

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