In Peru’s towns you find different traditions for choosing the best mate for your children. Different tests are carried out and in many cases some are really cruel. In the end, parents always want the best for their children since the companion or partner that is chosen will be for life.
These tests are meant to show how prepared the suitors are. Women are those who have to pass more tests and, depending on how they do, it will be decided whether they are huaylacas (masculine and unlikely housewives) or not and if they deserve to be with the family’s boys.
The “cachon Wacacheq”, which means peeling potato from beginning to end in one piece, consists of peeling a potato with a knife and with a good technique. You start peeling and try to get only the peel and, especially, keep it whole. This test becomes even more difficult when the parents choose a special potato that has protuberances and the difficulty increases considerably.
If the chosen person can perform this test she will be the most indicated to become part of the family.
Another tradition is to try to peel potatoes with a cow’s rib bone. You can imagine who could peel a potato with a bone. No matter how complicated it is, if that person is really in love there can be no obstacle to stop the couple’s love.
Something that is a little hard to believe is that parents might catch a solluco (lizard) and then the girl has to grind a rocoto with the back of this small lizard while being careful not to kill it. The latter I think is the
most difficult to perform.
Not only must women pass tests, the men must also. One of them is to cut logs of firewood with a blunt ax. After this your hands are left with blisters and flayed.
Another of the best known traditions is the “servinacuy” a test of coexistence to determine if the couple understands and can be together all their lives.
Each generation that passes loses some of these customs and every day couples are separated because they do not understand each other.