Francisco GutiÃ©rrez Figueroa
Wed, July 28, 2021
Today, the Republic of Peru commemorates its 200e independence anniversary. We are doing so under difficult, unexpected and unprecedented circumstances marked by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the concerns and threats that stem from it.
Peru’s declaration of independence in 1821 was a milestone in the history of the Americas. In fact, it contributed to the demise of the Spanish colonial power in South America, whose main seat was located in Lima, the current capital of Peru, in a process that finally ended in 1824 with the defeat of the Spanish military forces remaining in the Peruvian Andes.
Thus, Peru and the other nascent republics of Latin America secured their independence from the former Spanish Empire.
Today, 200 years later, we have the opportunity to rethink, imagine and honor our country at the same time. Beyond being an important celebration, the Peruvian bicentenary must be understood as a space for dialogue and reflection in order to define our future.
Peru has been the home of ancient civilizations. The most visible face of this heritage is undoubtedly Machu Picchu, an unmissable monument well known to Indonesians and the whole world. Other important companies have also emerged on our soil, such as Caral, the oldest urban center in the Americas that flourished around 5,000 years ago along the central coast of Peru.
Finally, I can mention the Nazca Civilization, known for its distinctive 1,500-year-old large geoglyphs, the detailed designs of which are mostly visible from the air.
Peru is also famous for being a mega-universe country – a distinction it shares with Indonesia and a small number of countries around the world. Under Peru’s national jurisdiction, we find 10 percent of the world’s flora, more than 2,000 species of fish, 1,858 species of birds and 467 species of mammals. We are proud of our great biodiversity; we appreciate it and we see development as inseparable from environmental protection and social inclusion.
Peru’s cultural diversity is an inexhaustible source of creativity. Its gastronomy is precisely one of these varied manifestations of originality. Colorful cuisine resulting from cultural fusion over the past centuries takes our living heritage to the next level.
It is therefore no coincidence that Peruvian cuisine can be tasted in the major capitals of the world thanks to the unmistakable imprint of aromas, flavors and ingredients that are found in each dish. Certainly, the dissemination of our gastronomy is a key element in promoting the dynamism and multiculturalism that characterizes Peru.
Over the past decades, Peru has played a significant role in consolidating democracy at the regional level. To cite just one example, in 2001, on the initiative of the Peruvian government, the Inter-American Democratic Charter was adopted by the Organization of American States. This instrument, aimed at strengthening representative democracy and its institutions, has helped to promote a democratic culture, which includes respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Peru’s rich history, its biological and cultural diversity, its democratic values ââand respect for human dignity are the main legacies that will be passed on to future generations. On this date, we have come a long way of which we must be proud of what not only our heroes, but also all our ancestors, ordinary men and women who contributed with their tireless struggle, their tenacity and their great courage. to gain independence and gradually shape Peru as a true nation.
Our national identity, based on our powerful ancient culture, allows us to build our history and meet the challenges of the third century of republican life. The bicentennial year should be an opportunity to build momentum, to propose to better meet the needs of our people and to commit ourselves to continuing to forge the country we want to be.
On this remarkable occasion, if there is anything to celebrate, it is the effort of all those Peruvians who dreamed – and still dream – of a prosperous, sustainable and just society.
The writer is charge d’affaires of the Peruvian Embassy in Indonesia.