It has been a while! >_<! So here is a post about something that has been on my mind for the past two years. So, this past weekend I had the intense privilege of attending the CLPP (Civil Liberties and Public Policy)’s Conference on Reproductive Rights. The title may seem broad (and oh wow, is it ever) and they do their best to cover all the range of topics that fall into the category. A link here can be viewed so you can read all the different workshop titles. Anyway, so far I have been to the past 4 conferences (now 5! :D) during my time at Hampshire College and then returning to the conference as an alum.  I also went to the Sister Song Conference last summer and this topic always comes to mind.

So, I am obviously Peruvian (it says so in my blog title) and was born and raised in the United States. Something that has been bothering me for a while is the trend that I see when I go to Peru (and even see in the States in other Peruvians, both from Peru who immigrated here to Peruvian-Americans) is that we knock on “cholos” or “people from the mountains” and these folks are most often poor, and more often than not, from deep indigenous roots. They can (sometimes again, not everyone) speak Qechua or Aymara which are languages from the Incans who are the ancestors to most Peruvians. What I feel and have been thinking about for a long time is the silence of this heritage. Sometimes I run into people who are proud to be decedents from the Inca. After all the Inca caused some of the most deep scientific wonders of the world such as Machu Piccu or even rock cutting techniques. They has a sewer system and were into bathing way before the Europeans were. The Incas invented many wonderful things and were considered to be some of the first people to grow and consume potatoes.

But there is such a strong stigma associated with being of Incan decent which always makes me wonder: Is this silence the success of colonization? To my knowledge, the Spaniards who burned and colonized our country didn’t single themselves out from the Incas. Sure, they made them into slaves and had children together with them but damn, was colonization that deep? I think about all the catholic schools that there are in Peru and can only say that Yes, colonization was that successful. In Peru, they don’t recognize how much Incan blood runs through you, it’s assumed that everyone is just Mestizo. Y PONTO. There are no reservations, there are no remaining (again, to my knowledge) of people who lived like the Inca (the people who live in the jungle could be different, but they are most likely a tribe on their own). But my point is that the majority of the people in Peru are very native, have native blood in them, and no one talks about it.

Instead, people are made fun of for talking a certain way. Qechua and the people who speak it each year gets smaller. This is in part due to the rejection of the mainstream Peruvian to the language that their ancestors speak which brings me to say…

What the FUCK!??!?!

No. Seriously. This self hate that so many Peruvians have, this notion to separate themselves from their glorious past is astounding to me. We Peruvians actively oppress ourselves and that is fucked up. Those of our strong brothers and Sisters who fled to the Andes, where the espanols would not find them are poor, live a life of poverty and then go to the Capital, Lima, where they are at the mercy of those who give into the oppressor. They give into these notions that we are nothing and further exploit what little we know of our past by abusing our brothers and sisters from the Andes.

I don’t know for how many generations that this has been going on for but I know that I can’t be alone in this.