Chapter 5: Holidays!!!!!!
I did not write on Saturday and Sunday so I feel guilty for it. But it was impossible for me because I went to the beach and there was not access to internet. The best places in Lima are beaches, specially south beaches. I went to Old Port, a quiet beach. It is three hours from Lima. My uncle has a house there so we stayed two days. Now I am red like a lobster despite I used sun blocking and I am feeling uncomfortable too, becasue my shoulders and face are burned. But the weekend was funny and relaxing. I love the sun, sand and of course seafood. I ate ceviche, ceviche and ceviche. I really like this dish. Ceviche is the most popular dish in Peru, everywhere you go, You can eat ceviche. but the best ceviche is make on the coast because you can find fresh fish. You can prepear it easily, you only need fresh fish, very fresh better, lemon, but peruvian lemon of course because is very sour, salt, and "ají" which is called chili but is very different from mexican chili. You only have to mix all ingredients and the dish is ready. The fish is raw and is cooked by the sour lemon. Perhaps you think that is strange food, but you have to tried it.
When I see Scissors dancers, they hold some nice sentimental memories from my childhood. I admire then a lot, because they were, for me, a kind of heros.
Scissors Dance is a traditional dance from the south of Peru, specially from Apurimac ( my region) and Huacavelica a nearby region.
These dancers danced for Christmas at beginning but now you can see in special events. But the originals dancers, only dance for Christmas. As the custom says, only special men could be a scissors dancer. Few people born with this gift. When they are reconigzed by others dancers, if his parents agree, the boys are trained. They must be strong, healthy and elastic.
One week before 24 th december, dancers go to the mountains, Nobody knows where they go. I have tried to find out, but is imposible, the mountains are so big.
The dancers have a special protector, a kind of minor god, called Apu, which is a special Mountain. The dancers offer his life and his dance to his Apu, then his make a offering, it consists in coca leaves, liqour, korn, potato, wheat, then the dancer make a deal with his Apu. He offering his life and the Apu give him strong and power to dance. Many people thinks which they a kind of Wizards.
On december 24 th, they appear, in front of the church, with a colorful costume: A big hat, with little mirrors and colorful strips and two big scissors, it weight about one kilo each one. And they seem being in a trance, migth possesed
by a special force. Then they start to dance, accompanied by a little band which consists in: a big harp, a violin and a bass drum. The musicians play music and the dancer dance at the same rhythm and he make acrobatic steps, jump, etc. and always the scissors sound at the same rhythm that the music. It is the most difficult dance I have seen. They dance all day, for three days, then dissapear until another celebration.
I tried to find out about the history of this dance. Many books say that the dancers were from the Inka`s age. and they offered his dance to the Inka`s gods , like the sun, the earth, the sky, pumas, etc. but when the Spaniards conquer us, they tried to change his mind and destroy theirs gods to impose the catholic God so now the dancers offer his dance to God, but the dancers make offerings to his ancient gods although they must be do it far and alone to avoid punishment by catholic institutions.
Well, Stephen, I tried to explain as well as I can, I hope which you understand it. In Lima there aren´t threes near, so most of people bought fake plastic trees ( like a song by Radio Head), and if you had money, you would bought a real tree. The trees are very expensive here, because Lima is a big desert and there aren`t enough trees. A tree like yours might cost about 50 or 60 $, it is quiete expensive for here. But in my town, Talavera, There a lot of trees, usually we cut a big branch of Molle ( a native tree) then we filled it with our old fashioned balls and decorations.
I am looking forward to hearing news for you
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