Capture from "Lima," a 1944 documentary on the City of Kings.
The tireless Alejandro at Peru Food turned up some interesting and ancient documentary footage on YouTube. It's a documentary from the 1940s about Lima that was put together by a U.S. agency, the Office of the Coordinator for Inter-American Affairs (quite possibly the only agency in our government that used its funds to document, rather than overthrow Latin America).
I'm quite intrigued watching this film because it shows the Lima my mother describes when she reminisces about her youth.
It's funny, this nostalgia we have for earlier times. Because while my mother lived in the Lima shown in this film, she grew up reading Ricardo Palma and thus has a certain nostalgia for the Peru of the mid to late 1800s. It's always the thing you can't have, isn't it?
There's quite a bit to comment on in this film. But the part I found a bit strange was the long segment on the siesta. I've always felt that North Americans have made too much of this tradition, and that is too often portrayed as some kind of naptime and not simply an extended family meal break. (Even Wikipedia in its definition of siesta seems to focus on the sleep aspect and not it's larger cultural context.) I'm sure this territory has been trampled by countless Area Studies graduate students, but it seems to me that siesta is code for "lazy."
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