Meeting Peruvian Gandhi!

Peruvian Gandhi in his consulting room
Peruvian Gandhi in his consulting room

Today I met Gandhi. Well, of course not the real Gandhi, but the ‘Peruvian Gandhi’ as he is locally known, and is apparently his actual name (although I’m skeptical). Deep in the labyrinth that is Chinatown, up some stairs, round some corners, and past some beady curtains, you can find Lima’s look-a-like fortune teller, whose career path was decidedly different to the real Gandhi’s.

This guy has been in the local newspaper (see picture), the article which he proudly displays on the wall of his consulting office. With his distinctive robe and shaved head, I must admit that he had the Gandi look down pretty well.

Local newspaper article...this guys a celebrity!
Local newspaper article…this guys a celebrity!

Surrounding the visitor to his consulting room are posters of (the real) Gandhi. Whether these are to channel his energy, or to promote Peruvian-Gandhi’s claim to fame are unsure, but it is an interesting experience nonetheless. I wasn’t even looking for him.

We’d gone to Chinatown in search of someone who could do some aura cleansing or smoke fortune telling…but was persuaded to have my cards read  by his twinkling eyes. **Please, success and love this year, coming my way?** Well no, just some stomach problems the cards said. Considering most travelers reactions to food here, that was probably a given anyway.

Yet there he sat, reminding me that Gandhi had fought the British and won and watching to see my reaction to this. As it goes, I’m quite happy about Gandhi’s work, but a bit of gentle teasing surely makes a tarot reading biased?

Either way, this was the last thing I had expected to come across in my daily wanderings, but an amusing diversion from the norm. If you find yourself in Lima’s Chinatown- ask for him! Its an interesting experience and you might just find out your fortune.

Beckie is a volunteer with the Karikuy Volunteer Program in Lima, Peru.

Beckie Melanie

Beckie is a professional lover of Peru, with two Masters degrees in Anthropology & Development, for which she undertook research in the Andean highlands. She is now starting her PhD with a research focus on Peruvian medicine, so loves to learn all she can about the people and their culture! Beckie is currently learning Quechua, and recommends that everyone come to Peru and try ceviche.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *