Imagine coming back to the place where your dearest childhood memories live. Imagine being surrounded by loved ones, great comfort food, and an all around sense of belonging. These are all realized on “Sundays for family”.
A pretty common theme of Peruvian culture is keeping family close. An example of this can be seen with how young adults usually would stay with their parents until they married, although that has been changing recently as young adults are getting to be more independent.
Each Sunday gathering usually occurs during lunch-time (“Almuerzo” in spanish), which is typically the most important meal of the day. It’s normal to arrive “fashionably late” instead of arriving on the hour at these kind of gatherings. When guests arrive, they greet every family member individually (usually with a handshake for men and a kiss on the cheek for women); they also say goodbye in the same fashion as well. Each guest generally brings two things: dessert and drinks. It’s typical of Sunday gatherings for the host to prepare and serve the food and the guests to supplement the small stuff.
The food that is served during almuerzo are usually, typical Peruvian dishes. “Aji de Gallina”, “Carapulcra” or “Arroz con Pollo” can be good examples of those typical dishes.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that certain families will usually pray before the meal, and while I’d argue that that doesn’t happen often, it’s always good to be respectful and wait till everyone begins eating to dive in. Once the meal is finished, most guests stay till late catching up with relatives.
Overall, a family gathering, and family in general, is a big aspect of Peruvian life. It’s enjoying the times to be with loved ones and the general amicability we all share that defines all Latin culture.