Peruvians are so very Chinese

October 9, 2010 — 15 Comments

Ahh… Peruvians and Chinese, Peru and China – countries so far away, but with so many links. Almost a year ago I read a book called 1434 by some guy Menzies. He also wrote 1421 where he says China arrived to America first. It’s an interesting thought considering how similar our cultures can be.

I mean, sure – Peru has the biggest Chinese colony in Latin America. Many of us may not speak Mandarin or Cantonese, but it sure has caught on everyday life. I mean, not only do we have a dish called Lomo Saltado (Sautee Sirloin?) that’s made with soy sauce, and that’s now a landmark dish.

lomo saltado

Obviously, we don’t call soy sauce “soy sauce,” Peruvians call it “sillao” [si yau in Cantonese]. Everyone in Latin America doesn’t — just saw some Colombian “chef” doing some ceviche with lime and “soy sauce” and “ginger”. As well as an Argentinean doing “Chinese noodles” with “soy sauce”.

You go to the market in Peru, and you buy “sillao” like Kikko or the Ajino-Sillao, which actually comes from the Japanese Ajinomoto company.

Peruvians also don’t buy “ginger”, they buy “kion” [kiong/keung in Cantonese]. Peruvians don’t buy “snow pea“, they buy “jolantao” [ho lan tou/he lan dou in Cantonese]. My mom tells me that it comes from the word Holland. xD FYI.

When Peruvians eat Chinese food, they eat Chifa, the origins are a bit murky on that one, but people say it’s because Chinese families used to shout the phrase “Sik fan!” which means “Time to eat!”. Obviously, Peruvians don’t eat “fried rice”, they eat “chaufa” [chao fan]. So suck it, Peruvians are Chinese.

And look at the murky similarities in culture~~~ xD

Danzas y trajes de la region de Puno (cerca del lago Titicaca y de Bolivia)/ dances and costumes of the Puno region (close to the Titicaca lake and Bolivia)/ danses et costumes de la region de Puno (proche du lac Titicaca et de la Bolivie)

China Miao Minority

miao minority - china

Old man in tradition dress, Chinchero (near Cusco), Peru


15 responses to Peruvians are so very Chinese

  1. Yeah, but they're from the same region xD somehow they made it here hahahaha.

  2. This dish looks oh so appetizing!! Great pictures, I love to learn more about your corner of the world :)

  3. I’m sorry but this is a very wrong conclusion. Tawantinsuyu traces it’s cultural roots back to the Caral/Supe civilization of 4900-3700 BC and onward. China and Asia in general (except Sumeria) had absolutely NO civlilization at this time. The “staff god” is present already as early as the Chavin cult (when China was barely forming a civilization and culture, much less already navigating and “discovering”) and this theological trait persisted in Tawantinsuyu until Inca times. There are no accounts that the Chinese ever visited Tawantinsuyu. In fact, it was Tawantinsuyu that was already visiting French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean when Tupac Yupanqui set out on a voyage with 20,000 men.

    • @Hatunrunakuna, what conclusion is that? I never made a conclusion about cultures, I merely said that Peruvian contemporary culture has a lot of infused Chinese in it.

      Actually, Chavin culture is dated 900BC or something, while the first Chinese dynasties are dated 2070BC. While Tawantinsuyo is way wayyyy after that. Too little is known about Caral to make a conclusion that Tawantinsuyo’s roots are from there, considering Caral could have been buried down by the time the empire was established.

      You’re the one stating legend as fact. Tupac Yupanqui’s travels are as solid as Zheng He’s travels. And Zheng He is actually… theoretically older than Tupac Yupangqui, and has written logs of actual travels.

      Just saying.

  4. Well, actually, much is known about Caral/Supe through archaeological research. We know the planification of their urban sites, we know something about their textiles, their social organization, their methods of agriculture, hell, they’ve even reconstructed some skeltons they’ve found. All this you can find in book written in recent times about Caral. As with all our civilizations, whether Tawantinsuyuan or Anahuaca (so called “North America”) research and discovery is ongoing. Heck, we’re still learning a lot about the Maya that we knew nothing about even 10 years ago thanks to new discoveries and archeology. The same can be said about Tawantinsuyuan archaeology which has only recently opened up to foreign scholars and researchers after years of conflict. A cult which utilizes Hallucinogens and continues even to the modern day in Peru can be traced to caral with trade and cultural influences reaching deep into the highlands, amazon, even the Ecuadorian coast where Spondylus shells were brought from to Caral; So, already there existed a far reaching network of community organization/structure and trade; even into such a remote time. Also, remains of what is thought to be a prototype of the “Staff God” have been found at Caral. Even architecturally, traditions remained with the use of sunken plazas (which are even common in Mexico like at sites such as Teopantecuanitlan an other early pre-classic sites) continued far into Tawantinsuyu history (I use the name Tawantinsuyu when speaking of this cultural tradition we know as “Andean”). What difference does it make for Chavin to be 900 BC or 7000 BC? By 900 BC, Chinese civilization was beginning to manage itself and learning to efficiently feed its population and developing its own culture, much less was it thinking about discovering the other side of the world (roots of Chavin lie much before 900 BC, by the way). That being said, I think it is curious that Olmec iconography and Chavin Iconography is so similar. Look at the two sometime and compare. Also keep in mind that the Olmec are almost 4,000 miles apart and that the Olmec are dated to 2500-2300 BC.

  5. By the way, this was a response to the “1434” book. Now, we not only have to worry about Afro-centric and Euro-centric ultra-diffusionists stealing our civlilizations and heritage; now we also have Sino-centric diffusionists. Great….

    • @Hatunrunakuna, then you probably should’ve commented on the 1934 post. In it I don’t even say I truly believe the book, but whatever. If you have an issue with Afro-centric, Euro-centric, and Sino-centric options, that you feel the need to post on a post about lomo saltado…

  6. Even writing wise, Khipu rope wrting traditions started in Caral/Supe or before go all the way into the Wari (Huari) era (Khipus from the 600s AD) and into the Inca rule. If it were so that Chinese explorerers “visited” Tawantinsuyu, why did they not leave any traces of Chinese writing, cuisine (Where is the rice or beef in pre-European times?), or even stelae like they did in SE Asia? On the other hand, Tupac Yupanqui’s voyages left Inca-style masonry on Rapa Nui, which we know as Easter Island. There are legends about Tupac Yupanqui (In legend they call him Son of the Sun. Interesting to note that that is his title in Tawantinsuyu culture) in other islands in Oceania and ocean currents are very favorable to a voyage from the Peruvian coast into Oceania and back again…

  7. And the whole “Peruvians are Chinese” thing is like saying Europeans are Sumerian due to some minor cultural borrowing (which China has also done. Are Chinese English because of some western elements from the colonial era or Mexican for eating Chocolate, Chilies, etc. [Xocolatl and Chilli in Nahuatl]?). Every culture borrows, Ms. (Mrs.?) Wong. Otherwise our cultures would be very, very poor. (Then again, we indigenous people didn’t borrow for 50,000 years or so)…

  8. LOL well i mean i am a peruvian but it is true that we eat stuff like these even our food smell’s like chinese food which is kinda funny because I am actually interestead in Asian but i was suprised to find this article.

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