Yesterday I celebrated a Mass at Our Lady of the Americas Mission in Atlanta commemorating Peru's 193th year of independence. For the past four years the Peruvian Consulate in Atlanta has invited me to take part in the celebration.
Every year a man does the Danza de las Tijeras or Scissors Dance which is a traditional dance from communities in the south-central Andes of Peru. The dancers hold a pair of polished iron rods which look like scissors, striking them to the rhythm of the music. The dance is physically exhausting. In 2010, UNESCO listed it as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
From Northern Peru, the Marinera Nortena is a beautiful dance with roots in the 17th century that mixes Native, African and Spanish traditions. The woman dances barefoot and both wave a white handkerchief. The dance is flirtatious where the man slowly and but surely gets his partner's attention.
The community welcomed the new Peruvian Consul to Atlanta, Miguel Aleman along with his wife and two daughters. They arrived just last week.