Happy Halloween!

November 3, 2008

In addition to being Halloween, Friday was also the Peruvian National Criollo Music Day.  I celebrated with my newfound friend Efrain, the middle school English teacher.  We went to this awesome show at a venue downtown called La Canana.


 el canana

 We spent the entire night outdoors in the back patio of the bar/restaurant watching, listening and partying! Well, it wasn’t that wild – at least I wasn’t.  The Peruvians started to turn it on for sure towards the end of the night.  We ended up arriving around midnight and the party was just beginning.  I love that everyone – men and women, alike – loves to dance.  Feel like the US isn’t as lucky – we definitely lack a willing and able stock of menfolk dance partners.

 I don’t know much about criollo music or cumbia other than that this great percussion instrument called the cajón is involved.  If I was staying here longer I’d be seeking out some cajón lessons for sure.  It’s a big hollow box with a hole that you sit on to drum with your hands.  It has a great resonating sound and it looks pretty damn cool too.


This singer was awesome.  She went around to the tables asking who was celebrating a divorce and who was ready to shake their tush for their potential new man.

We also got to see a lot of traditional Peruvian dances from different parts of the country:  the marinera from Trujillo, from Piura, and Afro-Peruvian dances from Chinca.  

traditional dance from piura

traditional dance from piura


The dancers were awesome – especially the marinera men with their crazy fast footwork.

workin it

workin it

There was also this hilarious dance that involves your dance partner chasing you with a candle trying to burn the paper napkin you’ve pinned to your butt.  The point is to shake what your mama gave ya so much that the candle can’t catch the napkin to burn it.


After the show, I was ready to do a little dancing myself.  But, I wasn’t ready for how crazy the Peruvians were about to get.  Immediately after the performances these two crazy court jester types on stilts emerged from nowhere with balloons, whistles and glow sticks which they started to distribute to the crowd.  Yes, glow sticks, it’s about to get like that.

time to party

time to party

Everyone started to, well, mosh actually.  It’s not my first choice for dance genre, but there’s no escaping a mosh pit of Peruvians armed with balloons.  The song we were “dancing” to went like this:


The people are drunk/

The people are drunk/

What’s going on?!

The people are drunk!



When I look up at the band they’ve all put on these freaktastic masks.  I’m getting bopped on the head with balloons and pierced through the toes by high heels and I’m having a great time. Everyone is jumping up and down and screaming and it’s a hot mess really.


gettin crazy

gettin crazy

The next song the band played got the same reaction from the crowd – I think it was the inspiring lyrics:


We don’t want to work/

We don’t want to study/

We just want to sit and drink beer/

and play guitar all day!

cant hang

cant hang

Well, who can’t get down with that?  Nevertheless, it’s 3:30 in the morning and I’m the pretty much the first party pooper to duck out. Whatever, I’m allowed – I didn’t even wear high heeled shoes.  Next time I’ll be sure to roll out the sequins and stilettos.  For now, I have a date with a cookie I squirreled away for a late night snack.



One comment

  1. i am liking peru. all this dancing, spa, massage and good food at reasonable prices, woohoo!! dad and i are definitely putting peru on our itenerary. what do they do with the glowsticks?

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