What comes after you eat? This is a question people might make. From the smallest children wondering about a delicious dessert or a bit of fruit people ask this.
One of the most desired things after a meal is a good siesta, a good nap. But normally, after we eat we just continue with our daily activities.
In many places, like in Cuzco, after a meal you thank the people who have accompanied you and then you sustain conversations as you socialize and share anecdotes and lived experiences.
This tends to take place most often on weekends when you can enjoy your time with your family and friends. You might have a glass of wine after your meal, as we often do, especially to help with the digestion of the meat you have consumed. Others drink sodas, beers, or anisette liquor. Sometimes, though, you mother or wife has cooked up a delicious chicha morada from our purple corn and fruit. This all helps the food go down well.
Peru is a place where we have a lot of warmth among us. Sharing is something of ordinary, everyday life. Just as in the highlands where the mink’a, collective work, is still the norm, your family is not just your blood relatives, but is made by the actions that you take with different people. Sharing makes you family.
As a result, breakfasts, lunch, dinners, and even snacks should not be taken alone as if you did not have friends, rather they should be accompanied by laughter or sometimes sadness, but always companionship. Your days can change from dark to filled with light because of companionship.
Our culture is characterized by its warmth, what we call cariño, as well as love. Your race or color does not matter. There are always people to share with you.
So, what comes after a meal? We hope that the day will be different and not the same as always, that it will fill with new friends and new experiences to learn from.
In this way we make problems and bad moods lighter and dissipate stress. Of course that is the power of our traditional food and our traditional sharing. They always lift your mood.