Sunday, November 1

Halloween and the Creole Song

They say you can tell how patriotic a Peruvian is by whether they celebrate Dia de la cancion criolla (Day of the Creole Song) or the American holiday Halloween on October 31. Most Peruvians, I noticed, do both.

The country has a rich Afro-Peruvian cultural heritage, a part of which is celebrated on October 31: el dia de la cancion criolla. When most Peruvians think of la musica criolla, they think of Lucha Reyes and this classic song, "La flor de la canela" or "The Cinnamon Flower": 

The celebration on October 31 mainly means a lot of local concerts, and, at the least, Lucha Reyes on the radio at home.

But last night, I couldn't hear any musica criolla over the reggaeton and salsa blasting from the Halloween-decorated clubs. All the young people had put on their best costumes and were hanging out on San Francisco street. 

The laws here permit open liquor containers in the street. The scene kind was what I would imagine New Orleans to be like on Halloween: vampires and sexy bunnies nursing handles of rum on the curb.

Funny thing: all the Americans I saw, plus me, were not dressed up for Halloween.  I thought it was our holiday after all!

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