Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pitsqay



The other night I woke up at 5 in the morning to the sound of haunting singing and the dim light of many candles.... and my clothes sewn to the blankets I was sleeping with. It was Pitsqay (pronounced Peets-kay). The second night after you bury someone (my host mom's very old mother just died last Sunday) their spirit is said to come back to their house, so all family members sleep there. The idea is if you succumb to your sleepiness than the rest of the family plays tricks on you by drawing on your face or sewing random clothes to you or your blankets. In the early morning hours they sing as a way to say goodbye and then burn all clothes and personal items that were owned by the deceased. Peruvians and their funerals are at least a week event which means little sleep, a lot of alcohol, a lot of family time and many customs. Needless to say, this past week I got to know the Shillapino culture, Quechua, and my host familia a little bit more.

2 comments:

  1. Wow! Sounds a lot more fun than funerals in the states! Hope you are doing well Em!

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