Peruvian Independence Day celebrated in Salt Lake City

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The Peruvian community in Utah celebrated 191 years of the country’s independence on July 28 with a festival that included traditional food, folk dances and music. The celebration was held at the Greek Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City.

Edgard Aliaga, a resident from Ogden was looking forward to attending the event.

“I always go to a Peruvian festival every year,” Aliaga said. “I’ve lived in Utah for 15 years, and I always look for events like this. It is a tradition for me.”

[media-credit name=”Francesco Loli” align=”alignright” width=”300″]Dancers perform a Peruvian folk called "Valicha" at Saturday's festival.[/media-credit]
Dancers perform a Peruvian folk dance called "Valicha" at Saturday's festival.
Other people feel that the festival is great for family time.

“This is the first time we attended this festival, but we really like it,” said Jesus Nolasco from Peru, who lives in West Valley. “I spend this holiday with my wife and children, but then my parents, my brother and his family join us to have diner together.”

The festival is just one of the few festivals that were held this month commemorating the Independence Day of Peru. However, some people like Alex Cornejo, were not aware that festivals like this are held every year.

“I’ve never come to an event like this. I’ve lived in Utah for six years, but this is my first time in a Peruvian celebration,” said Cornejo who lives in Clearfield. “I learned about this celebration from a Facebook page a couple weeks ago.”

For some people, this celebration is part of the Peruvian culture’s identity. Ivonne Arbulu, who lives in Salt Lake City, feels that the festival celebrates the breaking of Peru with the Spanish Crown.

“We are a free nation since 1821, and we have to celebrate it every year,” said Arbulu. “Even though I’m not in Peru, I have to celebrate it like if I were there. It’s part of my culture and roots.”

Arbulu has been living in the USA for 25 years, and she sometimes travels to Peru to visit with her family and friends.

“If I am in Peru for the 28 of July, I celebrate it as well,” Arbulu said. “My family and relatives get together and we all have a party with music and food. It is really fun.”

At the event, even people from other countries went to celebrate with their friends and family to join them in this special day.

“I am from Venezuela, but I have lot of friends from Peru,” said Leonardo Pizarro, who lives in Salt Lake City. “I came with my family to spend time with our friends. We like them. Plus, we like Peruvian food.”

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