Saturday, June 6, 2009

La Quinceañera.

At last!! I have time to sit down and write!

So I will tell you what we did today. We went to a quinceañera party. It is a birthday party for a girl who turns 15. This is a very important and serious event here in Mexco. It is considered as the moment when a girls goes out to "society", and it is celebated with a BIG party. Quinceañera parties have been part of Mexican tradition for more than 100 years. And even though it is losing importance (many girls would rather have a new car instead of the party), a great many part of the population still celebrates this important moment in a girl's life. I can understand wanting a new car instead of spending so much money feeding hundreds of persons, but there is something about the seriousness of this event that has me supporting it.

This beautiful girl's name is Rocío which means Dew. She is my neighbor Naty's niece.
So here goes....

First thing's first. A mass to give thanks for
fifteen years of life.

Getting into the car to go to the reception or party.

This is Naty and her husband Sergio.
She is one of sixteen children her mom and dad
had. Her mom passed away a year ago so the party was
very emotional.
(Yes, she has a Corona beer in her hand.
It would be a sin not to drink Corona in a Mexican Fiesta)

Lots of kids.
There were about 300 people at the party,
and they were mostly family.

Naty's family are rancheros. That means
they have some land and can grow vegetables,
although most of her brothers live in the U.S. now.
Kids like to dress like their fathers.
Manuel goes to kindergarten next year,
and he has told his mom he will not use a "dumb"
uniform and sneakers. Oh no, he wants to go dressed as a man.

As you can see it's all in the boots, dude.

Birthday cake.

One of the mot important parts of the party
is the dance choreography. The quinceañera is accompained
by her "chambelanes" who will help her through a dance
choreography. She had eight chambelanes.

Through the years, these choreographies have become
more and more sophisticated. Before, all the girl had to dance was
a waltz, but now (as you can see) even theatre themes
are included.
(Phantom of the Opera here)

A good choreography will include liftings, among other things.

Some twirling here. The family will pay for a profesional
choreographer to set up the dances.

The family did not have enough money to spend on a fancy
hall, so they did it at this private handball court. There was plenty
space, and the tables were put at the other side on a well kept lawn.

One of the traditions is when the girl's dad gives her her last
doll. Since her dad left her when she was very small,
her grandfather, Don Lorenzo, who raised her
as his daughter, gave it to her.
Eveybody was crying here.

Very emotional moment.

The last official part of the party is the waltz in which
every male member of the family, and important friends
get to dance with her.
Again Don Lorenzo. I really love this man.
He is hard working, and strives to keep his
very large family together.

We've been friends with Naty and her family since we meet
about eleven years old. We've given support to each other
when we've both had crisis (when my son was hit by a speeding
car, and when her mother passed away, to mention a few)
So my husband was considered an important friend, and got to
dance with Rocío. That is considered a great honor,
even if he had to wait till thirty or more male members of the
family danced first.

After this, the real party begins. Everyone has been fed, and dancing music is put on. In Rocio's case she had a real live band. The party will last till about 3:00 of 4:oo in the morning. Unfortunately, we did not stay. It was already 8:00 p.m, the church ceremony had started at 1:00 p.m. so we were really tired. Not to mention the fact that the Mexican soccer selection team was going to play at 8:00 against El Salvador, and my husband being every bit of a soccer fan, was even more convinced on leaving at that time. Although it would have been better if we stayed at the party. Mexico lost 1-2 against El Salvador.

Alas, not everyone is going to bed happy tonight, but I had a great time and am very happy to be sitting in front of my computer again.
Till tomorrow.
Have a good night....


Georgia B. said...

oh, wow. these pictures hold such a wonderful feeling.

this is one of my favorite things about the mexican heritage. i think it is full of awareness of the importance of family and friends and celebration. these photos completely capture that essence. i feel like i just watched a wonderful movie full of rich color and cheerful music after having seen this post.

i especially love the shot with the little boy and girl. so precious!

thanks for your very thoughtful comments on my blog. it's nice to know someone is appreciating the things i put up there.

el dan said...

hey, first one to comment - cool...
Como estan?
Me da mucho gusto ver tus lineas otra vez Angie. Hace mucho que no escribiste nada, creo que vas loco en el fin de ano. El mismo aqui, el proximo es el ultimo semana de escuela por nosotros, pero bien, va a pasar pronto...
Estamos esperando por algunos fotos que dijiste vas a mandar de Pepe Velazqez y otros.
Ojala que estas bien.

Anonymous said...

Angie, you're back!!!! Great photo story here. A lot of the young Mexican girls here seem to have quinceaneras also. Seems like a lovely tradition. The young woman's dress is beautiful (as is she).

Y su esposo es muy guapo!

Angie said...

Georgia, I'm glad you liked the photos. I also think the kids look so cute. I know Mexico is not perfect in many things, but family values is something I like very much.

Dany, soon I will put up the photos you are waiting for. Maybe tonight!!
Besos a Sofi.

Dear Candace, you can't imagine how happy I am to be back! Glad you liked my story of this tradition.
I don't know about him being guapo (my husband) but he looks VERY Mexican. Let me tell you something, he has NEVER shaved off his moustache!! Once he wanted to do it, but I didn't let him. Told him he would lose his personality. Maybe it was selfish on my part, but he then said he was glad he didn't do it.
Lots of kisses and hugs to all my friends.