Tomorrow Peru officially turns 190 years old. She is a long-lived wise lady. All those years ago, we proclaimed independence from the Spanish and became a country on our own right. But of course, in reality, Peru is much more than a country, and much older, wiser and sexier than 190 years old. For anyone who’s ever had real contact with the magic, history and culture here, there’s no doubt about that.
Tomorrow, our Independence Day, is also the day our new President will take the oath in front of the Congress to lead our country for the next 5 years. Half the population is unhappy with his election. The other half is divided between the happy, and the dubious who voted for him only cause they thought he was the lesser evil. Lots of negativity and speculation has been floating around since the elections, especially on the web. As everyone I knew faught with each other on facebook for weeks, some friendships even gone astray, (yes, it was that extreme), I chose not to give my opinion, as my opinion, like everyone else’s, is debatable and blurred by the colored glasses through which I see reality. Seriously, people. Who can say a word of truth?
What I choose to do instead is hope for the best. I hope that the best years of my country are yet to come. Hope that the economic growth keeps up and touches more lives every day. Hope that Gaston Acurio (our most famous chef) and others like him, keep doing their thing, and the gastronomic boom he started continues creating jobs and pride and fun and dreams. I hope that we all keep enjoying lots of dishes of Cebiche and Suspiro a la Limeña, riding beautiful and powerful waves that have all the life force of the universe contained in them, munching on Quinoa and sipping hot cups of coca tea that our Inca ancestors taught us would give us the energy of the mountains and maintain us healthy. On that note, I hope that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) do not touch our ground, even though they seem to be getting closer to being a sad reality. They say thoughts become things, so repeat after me, “No GMOs in Peru. No GMOs Peru. No GMOs Peru.”
It’s a day of celebration. People will drink lots of Pisco Sours and listen to criolla music, singing at the top of their lungs. Red and white flags will wave with the breeze on every rooftop. I will go out of the city for the long weekend with my friend Sol and her family, eat lots of amazing food, and enjoy some warm winter sunshine. I wish you Peru, many many many happy returns of the day.