Brazilian Sweet Fifteenth Birthday Party Essay

1628 words - 7 pages

     Quinceanera, which is Spanish for Sweet 15, is a very popular celebration in the Spanish community. This is a very special day to both the mother and the daughter. This day signifies the transformation from a little girl to a young lady. It is a way of introducing a new woman to society. Turning 15 is the most important birthday for Spanish communities. Quinceaneras tend to be a big and elegant celebration in which every family member and friends collaborate to give the birthday girl the best party she has ever had. To my understanding every Sweet 15 was celebrated the same in every Spanish country. But after attending my friend’s Brazilian Sweet 15 my opinion has changed for the better.
     My friend Stephane Rene and I were invited to a Sweet 15 a couple weeks ago. The birthday girl was related to one of our friend, Kim. At first, I did not even think of using this event to write my paper because I thought that I knew what a Sweet 15 was all about. I was primarily going to focus on the Brazilian culture because even though my friend is Brazilian I had never had the opportunity to share an event with Brazilians being the dominant group. But soon after the ceremony got started I found myself surprised and amused of what was in front of me. First, there is ceremony before the reception which is held at a church. The family is catholic therefore the ceremony was held at the catholic church of the town. After everybody was sitting down, Jennily walked down the aisle toward the front of the church. Here, the priest was waiting to give her the appropriated blessings. She was wearing a long gorgeous pink silky dress which represented her new status as a young woman. Jennily was also wearing soft pink slippers which she would change later into a more elaborate one. I was familiar with the ceremony at the church before the party because it is a way of blessing her and to appreciate her day of celebration which simultaneously represents her rebirth as a woman. But I did not hesitate to ask one of the family members, what did it signify to them to be blessed by the priest the day of her birthday? To my surprise, thru their blessings they also pray for her future and her new start. Once the priest was done, her aunt and uncle stood up and recall her first fifteen years of life in a very sentimental and biographical speech. Throughout the speech they kept referring back to how fulfilled and thankful they are of her excitants. Following the speech, Jennily walked out and besides her were her 15 of her closest friends. There were fifteen friends, 7 boys and 7 girls and one male companion for the Quincenera adding up to 16. This was very interesting to me because in my culture the birthday girl gets to have 15 girls and 15 boys to escort her. According to Bruno, Jennily’s cousin, this represents every year she was born plus one more year for good luck.
     After leaving the church the families proceed to go outside the church to capture on film every...

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