I’ll see you shortly on the Plaza de Armas
If you want to be part of Peruvian society you must fly the flag on 28th July and be part of a parade. Before it is your turn you are obliged to wait outside in the blazing sunshine. Your uniform is immaculate, your shoes are polished, you look straight ahead like soldiers at Buckingham Palace and you have a Peruvian flag hanging outside your house. An obligation. Meeting others on the streets you greet each other with the words: “Felices Fiestas Patrias! – Joyful holiday of the Fatherland!” and enjoy the relaxed but celebratory atmosphere.
The Diospi-Suyana-School and the Hospital Diospi Suyana, supported by the Media Centre, took part in the festivities. No one knows exactly how many thousands of people thronged the Plaza de Armas yesterday morning. Taking part is important. See and be seen. The facade is what counts.
But it should not be kept a secret that the National Day consists of many half-truths. The people sing “Somos libres – we are free!”, but independence from Spain brought about absolutely no change in the lives of the Quechua Indians. Interestingly enough Quechua Indians made up the biggest troop contingents on both the Spanish and the Revolutionary sides!
The political speeches are miles away from reality. They are unctuous and pompous. Absolutely no deeds follow these fantastic words. Everyone knows this, but hardly anyone seems to care. The cultural background noise is an essential part of the day, just like the sunshine and the public kerfuffle. However, one must not forget that a street or two are cleaned and a couple of houses get a new lick of paint.
Many Peruvians head to their place of birth on 28th July out of solidarity with their childhood’s memories of times long gone. And every year something has changed, here a new building, there the potholes in the road have finally been repaired, etc…
“Long live Peru! We will come back next year, God-willing and if we are still alive.“ /KDJ