So. I was invited to attend the wedding of one of my Peruvian cousins (who is the host sister of the previous volunteer here in Shilla). She and her husband are super amable and have the most adorable little boy. At the wedding, it turns out, he also got baptized (two for one!) and had this cute little tux on. But that´s besides the point. Anywho. So the mass part (since they are Catholic) was pretty much the same (except the priest asked the public if they wanted to receive communion and nobody went up to receive it) and then comes the after party. Peruvian parties (it does not matter if it´s for a wedding, funeral, birthday or a saint´s día) last a long time.. and by long time I do not mean 6 hours. I mean from 11:00 a.m. until 12 midnight. Yup. That is not an exaggeration. For everyone in the Peruvian Peace Corps right now, they would just nod and think that was normal. ¡So this post is just for you guys at home!
I had prepared for this and made sure to get my shut eye the night before.. since it was my first Peruvian wedding after all... and my familia was all going (including my two bros who live in Lima and hardly ever come to visit) and I knew that I would have to partake in the rampant drinking of alcoholic beverages and I would have to ¨bailar duro¨ (literally: dance hard). Their reception happened to take place in our newly opened coliseo which is this big indoor sports arena where you can play volleyball, basketball, soccer... and hopefully tennis (I bought a couple of cheap rackets and tennis balls recently.. I plan on lowering the volleyball net and teaching some kids a new sport! We´ll see how it goes). Needless to say, the coliseo is really nice and it was a good place to have a peruvian wedding reception.. lots of room, places to sit, the band had bueno accustics. (I´m sure the entire town, and towns surrouding Shilla, could hear the music all night long). The beginning of any Peruvain party is a little awkward. Everyone just sits next to their family and sort of talks a little... it gets better once the Pisco comes out. I ate, I did tomar (drink some alcohol) because literally they force it on you, and danced. I realized I really do like dancing Huayno (the two step.. it´s actually a very easy skipping kind of dance.. I can see why they do it and why they girls wear skirts while dancing) and being with the familia was really fun! After some time, all the party attendees got a little... borracho (drunk) and the fun starts. The band plays for about 20 minute sessions and then rests for about 15 minutes... and it continues like that. You dance, you rest and drink, you dance again. I think they do it this way because it really releases their feelings. My family, and the Peruvians I´ve met so far, work really hard and then they party hard in order to just feel. I think they drink during the parties to release their sentimientos and really feel the loss and joys of vida. They dance to just release.
We got back home about 11 p.m... I could still hear the music as I was drifting off to sleep... literally. The party was still going on. It was fun and I´m sure I will be seeing many more holidays and parties very similar to that one. Also, it was a great way to get closer to my familia. My host mom now calls me her hija and was hugging me a lot anoche. I feel so comfortable with them, they´re always looking out for me!
Next weekend, I´m heading to Huaraz for our monthly meeting with all of us Ancashinos. So, if you have skype you should get on sometime Fri evening or Saturday anytime if you can! I always want to give a shout out of congratulations to Amy and Dean! Just heard about the baby noticias! ¡Yay! Baby´s first trip.. ¿to Perú? hehe.