Because Twitter freaks out any time someone Latino sings “The Star-Spangled Banner,” we can’t have nice things. But in Peru, where rock, salsa, and heavy metal versions of the national anthem have been made, it’s downright chévere that a version now exists that’s not in Spanish. This week soprano Sylvia Falcón sang a Quechua version of the anthem, while Pepe Céspedes played the piano.
She first sang the song when the Derrama Magisterial asked her to, so after she got the official lyrics, she translated it. “That this song was made in Quechua is tremendously significant for Peruvians because it identifies the great quantity of Quechua speakers that exist,” she said to Perú 21, adding that the identity of the song remains the same across both languages. Quechua seems to be having a sort of moment lately. Recently, a 91-year-old Peruvian man finished translating El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha after working on it for 10 years, and Claudio Pizarro, team captain for Peru’s selección nacional, tweeted in Quechua thanking indigenous peoples.