Friday, July 28, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

No, I´m not three weeks late. Peru celebrates its independence from Spain on July 28. For most of the people living in 1821, it was only a nominal independence that had no effect on their lives. The wealthy Spanish elite who controlled the country stopped paying taxes to Spain, but everyone else continued to be controlled by the Spanish elite.

In Peru (or at least here in Lima) you´re required to display the flag on Independence Day, and if you have a business you´re required to clean and paint the exterior. You can be fined for failing either obligation. So the city has become quite a bit more attractive during the past few weeks, and flags are visible everywhere.

There´s a big festival in the park across the street where I live, with lots of good food, some games and raffles. I´m heading there right now with some friends.

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