Peru’s multicultural diversity is one of the features that make our society a unique one. And we have a very special history behind it.
This is one of the strong identity characteristics that make us Peruvians very proud of our heritage. But is multiculturalism always a good thing? Let’s go back in history for a minute.
The native inhabitants of this land were the Inca’s civilization (editor’s note: many native civilizations pre-dated the Incas). From what we know from all the research and data in history, they were a very advanced society, they were called an Empire. These natives were conquered or better yet, they were forced into a whole different culture by the Spaniards who came exploring into this part of the world.
Like any invasion, this was by no means a peaceful transition.
They brought a lot of violence, murder, looting, abuse and they imposed their way of life in a very forceful manner. South America became a colony of Spain until they declared their Independence. Of course, Spain left behind a heavy influence on the culture. As history evolved, we had our share of African slaves that also arrived in Peru in the 1500’s.
Around the 1800’s we had the Chinese migration and not too long after that the Japanese migration. Most of these immigrants were brought into the country as hard labor workers and slaves. We also had a European migration, some during the viceroyalty, but most came after WWII. We had mostly Italian citizens who disembarked in the Port of Callao. It would be virtually inevitable the mix of races and cultures. In my opinion in our history, we have managed in some ways to get the best out all of these different cultures and ethnicities.
“So, I think this is where our main challenge resides as a society. The constant struggle between the oppressed and oppressor.”
Now let’s remember where it all started.
The indigenous population is still the majority in our country. They want to continue to protect their heritage. They feel they were alienated. People who live in some marginal and rural areas usually feel a lack of belonging. On the other hand, the heavy influence that the Spanish have left in our country has in its genes the oppressor mentality. So, I think this is where our main challenge resides as a society. The constant struggle between the oppressed and oppressor. As a melting pot society, we have not overcome this social obstacle just yet. It shows up very saliently, in my opinion, in our political life.
Our country’s unstable growth.
We have pretty much become a society where everyone fends for themselves, everyone is pulling in every which way for their own benefit. A very selfish and fractured society who can careless about the rest. A society who does not cherish the elder. Politically we have no defined path. We are and have been in this vicious circle for centuries. How have other countries done it? Is it possible for all of us to pull in the same way?…Honestly, the way things look… I’m not so sure. This societal problem in my view is a huge obstacle that prevents us to become a more developed country and not only financially but in every possible way.
As far as the positive features I would say that our gastronomy benefited from our multicultural diversity. I think the only time we are united as a country is when the National Soccer Team plays.
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