Peru: Morning News Roundup – Monday, June 25

Morning News Roundup
Cameron Diaz apologizes for wearing bag with Maoist slogan in Peru

U.S. actress Cameron Diaz has apologized for wearing a bag with a political slogan that evoked painful memories in Peru. The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated "Shrek" films visited the Incan city of Machu Picchu in Peru’s Andes on Friday wearing an olive green bag emblazoned with a red star and the words "Serve the People" printed in Chinese, perhaps Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong’s most famous political slogan. The bags are marketed as fashion accessories in some world capitals, but in Peru the slogan evokes memories of the Maoist Shining Path insurgency that fought the government in the 1980s and early 1990s in a bloody conflict that left nearly 70,000 people dead. (read entire article at DailyMail)

Artifacts at Center of Dispute Between Yale and Peru

When the Yale University professor Hiram Bingham III discovered and excavated Machu Picchu nearly a century ago, he and his team shipped nearly 5,000 ancient artifacts back to the Connecticut institution — and planted the seeds of an acrimonious, modern-day custody battle between Yale and Peru. The fight, described in the Sunday magazine of The New York Times, pits Yale scholars and administrators, who believe the artifacts — mostly bones, pottery, and metalwork — can best be preserved and studied at the university, against rival academics and politicians in Peru, who seek the return of their "cultural patrimony." (read entire article by Charles Huckabee at TheChronicleofHigherEducation)

Peru Celebrates Potato Diversity

The humble potato puts on a dazzling display at 13,000 feet above sea level. Along the frigid spine of the Andes, men and women in bare feet uproot tubers of multiple shapes and colors – yellow, red, blue, purple, violet, pink with yellow spots, yellow with pink spots; round, oblong, twisted, hooked at the end like walking canes or spiraled like spinning tops. Their names in Quechua, the ancient language of the Andes, evoke an intimate human connection: "best black woman," "best red woman," "makes the daughter-in-law cry," "like a deer’s white tongue," "red shadow" and "like an old bone," to name a few. Respect for the many variations of potatoes is so profound among Aymara’s 650 villagers that it was a natural place for the world’s agronomists to produce seeds for a gene bank to preserve their diversity. The cold climate also protects against parasites that infest low-lying potato farms. (read entire article by Monte Hayes at Tucaloosanews.com)

Peru: Celebrating June 24 – San Juan and Inti Raymi

June 24 is a very special date in many parts of the world, because in addition to being the longest day of the year, it coincides with the summer solstice (which is why it is the longest day of the year). In Peru, San Juan is the patron saint of the Peruvian Amazon and this is the traditional feast date in the jungle. The most well-known and major feast is celebrated in the warm city of Iquitos [ES], but there are also very lively celebrations in Pucallpa, Tarapoto, Tingo Maria and other cities in the jungle region. Even in Lima, there is a community with its origins from the Amazon and they have started their own celebration of this “charapa” feast. It is assumed that there are religious origins, but that has been put aside. The residents and visitors of this area take part in large parties with food and drink. However, without a doubt, the feast that is most well-known around the world and is celebrated on June 24 is Inti Raymi. This is an Incan celebration that draws thousands of tourists from around the world and where many Cuzco residents actively participate. (read entire article by Juan Arellano at GlobalVoices)

Oshkosh soy cows bring protein to Peru

It all started in 2002 when Bill Thimke of the Southwest Rotary Club read in a Rotarian magazine that a soy cow, a machine produces soy milk, sent to Peru by another club was not working. "I thought that we could do that too, and send a soy cow that works," he said. Since then, Oshkosh Rotarians sent not one, but three soy cows to Peru, with one more coming up. The machines are a primary source of protein for more than 3,000 seniors and children in municipalities surrounding Lima, the capital of Peru. The soy cow project, called Project Peru, is a joint effort of the Oshkosh Rotary Southwest, the Oshkosh Rotary Club and the La Molina Vieja Rotary Club in Lima, said Michael J. Cooney, a team member from the Oshkosh Rotary Club. "This is a project that has given pride and purpose to both our organizations," Cooney said. Division. (read entire article by Aldrich M. Tan at TheNorthwestern)