Peru Travel Guide - Language and Culture
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The diverse culture and languages of Peru
Around 27 million people live in Peru and they are as diverse as the country’s nature and landscape in which they live. Depending on where you live in Peru – the Andean highlands, the Amazon region or along the coast – the language and culture can be very different.
The great cultural heritage of ancient Peru is evident in the amazing variety of indigenous languages in this country. The official language of Peru is Spanish and is spoken by 84% of the population. There are also 47 indigenous languages in Peru, including Quechua and Aymara, spoken by 13% and 1.7% of the population, respectively.
Other languages recognized in the constitution, such as Quechua, is spoken in many variants in many different Andean regions, and Aymara, is more commonly used in southern Andes. Shipibo, Asháninka and Aguaruna are spoken by communities in the Amazon region and are only some of Peru’s many indigenous languages.
Culture shaped by history
The people in the Andes are very friendly, but can also be extremely patriotic. They truly take pride in being Peruvians.
The culture of Peru is a reflection of its history – The great Indigenious civilization of the Incas, the Spanish conquest, the struggle for independence..etc. All of these crucial, historical events can also be found in local art, music and folklore.
The influence of history can also be found in the religions in Peru. Peru is almost entirely Catholic. However, within the practice of Christianity, indigenous cultures and traditions are incorporated. This is evident in the sheer number of festivals, and dancers who move to the sound of the drums, wearing colorful robes and sometimes masks and even war paintings.
Peruvian music is characterized by lovely Andean music with Spanish influences. The most popular instruments include various types of flute and the charango, a kind of mandolin. Music also includes traditional rites and dances like Pinkillada, Llamerada or Kashua.
Through the mixing and overlapping encounters of races and cultures, the result is the production of unique handicrafts. Pottery, textiles and metal processing are enhanced by both the skills of the Incas as well as Spanish and African influences. Today, you will find many creative and artistic work produced in Peru, including jewelry, sweaters and scarves made of alpaca wool and other material.