Early in the New Year I visited the Dutch Holiday Fair & Expo 2009, also known as ‘de vakantiebeurs’, in the city of Utrecht, Holland. It has become a yearly event to visit, and to soak up new holiday ideas and destinations. The expo opens on a Wednesday and goes on until the Sunday. The 2009 theme was called ‘A colourful World’ and over a 150 countries participated. The expo is held in several large exhibition halls which are just a short walk from the main railway station. The floor plan consists of 12 main building and each hall features a different continent. br /> br /> More than 1600 exhibitors were in 2009. This year Cuba was hosting the Dutch Expo with a large exhibit, everything ranging from tourist information and hot salsa demonstrations. Besides plenty of brochures, books and information, the visitor can enjoy numerous exotic dance shows and sample local foods and drinks at several food courts. My favourite hall, as always are the Caribbean and the Latin America pavilion. The expo is also a great place to take pictures of the many colourful traditional dressed dancers and promo girls who walk around handing out flyers and pose for the photographers. br /> br /> While visiting the Latin America pavilion my attention was taken by the Peru tourist stand. They featured Alma Inkary from music group Apu Inka and they were playing traditional music from the Andes. His lovely dancer Cecilia was performing a local Peruvian dance, which was very fascinating to look at. After the expo I made contact with Inkapacha and it turns out that they live and perform in Holland. A few weeks later I caught up with Cecilia and Alma Inkary at the Dutch Flower Trade fair near Den Haag for an exclusive photo shoot.
Peru is a country with three major regions, the coastal area, the Andes mountain range and the Amazon forest. Each region has its own distinct customs with different costumes and colour patterns. Colors and material varies depending on the resources available in the region. In the Amazon for example one uses what can be found in the forest; feathers, animal skins and fruits from the trees, in the coastal areas you can clearly see the influence of the Spanish invaders, while in the Andes one uses mostly llama wool and dyes from plants in traditional home-made clothing. The patterns and combination of colors are influenced by the regional tribes. The brighter the colors and the more complicated the patterns, the more attractive it is considered. It symbolizes beauty and fertility. The rainbow flag is the traditional flag of the Inca Empire and still used by the Quechua and Amara people. The name of this flag in Quechua is wifala.
In the photographs below Cecelia is wearing a Ñusta outfit with a decorated montera hat, saco chaqueta, a pollera skirt and a chumpi belt. The men are wearing ponchos and chullos on their heads. For more information on Inkapacha checkout their website: www.inkapacha.nl