Countries typically fight on land, water, airspace, fish, and more. In the midst of a pandemic, some are fighting for vaccines.
However, Peru and Bolivia are fighting for something totally different. There is a diplomatic row between the two neighbors over ancient dance forms and Bolivia is now threatening to knock on UNESCO’s door.
The dance form that the two countries fight over is called “La Morenada” and Bolivia wants to be known as its country of origin. However, Peru recently declared La Morenada, Rey Monero and Rey Caporal as the cultural heritage of the city of Puno.
This resolution was published in a state newspaper. Her words were too bitter to be digested by Bolivia and she therefore wishes to request the international protection of her culture from UNESCO.
“In 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO declared the Carnival of Oruro and its dances, including the Morenada dance and the dance of the Caporales, a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity ”, declared Sabina Orellana, the Bolivian Minister of Culture declared.
Peru has denied these claims and says it is not stealing a dance and certainly not its origin or exclusivity.
The folk dances of the Andean highlands have a long common history and every country in the region has contributed to this art form over the years. The Morenada or dance of black slaves, for example, has a mix of African and indigenous elements, said Alejandro Neyra, Peruvian Minister of Culture.
“This is precisely part of what unites us from southern Peru to Bolivia, which we want to protect. This tradition and artistic expression are part of knowledge. It is not the property of a single territory but rather that they can be shared because the idea is that they are preserved and maintained over time ”, said Alejandro Neyra
This is not the first time that two countries have quarreled over culture. The war of words was fought on GI tags and on social media. They include the battle for the hand loom, basmati rice, cooking, and even fish.