Festival/Celebration – Mexico

The Quinceanera – Party when a woman turns 15 years old

My informant is a first-generation American, so obviously there will be Mexican festivals carried over into his generation from the generation of his parents.  My informant’s mother is Mexican, while his father is Panamanian and Danish.  Therefore, the family carries over the mother’s roots when it comes to women.  My informant has a sister so it is tradition in the Mexican culture for the 15-year-old woman to have a Quinceanera.

This festival occurs when the woman turns fifteen and is similar to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah from the Jewish culture or the “Sweet 16” from the American culture.  The festival is meant to include all of the girl’s family and friends.  Most Quinceaneras include more than 100 people according to my informant.  At my informant’s sister’s Quinceanera all of her family came to San Diego for the party, including her family from Mexico and all of her friends.  It is proper for the lady to get a very nice gift from her parents, which my informant’s sister got in the form of a car.  My informant got his sister a sweatshirt.  This tradition of a Quinceanera is one that my informant hopes will be carried on through future generations.

The reason why this festival is so important in my informant’s world today is because he has a lot of pride in his culture.  Being the first man from his family born in America, my informant feels it is important to carry over the roots of his family’s culture into his American culture.  When I asked my informant what he thought about the festival and the encompassing party, he stated that it is “a great tradition that gets the family together for an event and shows coming of age.”

From talking to my informant, I really feel as though he is extremely dedicated to his culture and family.  He believes that family and tradition are two important values in his life, and without them he would feel empty.  I admire my informant for being so close to his family and keeping the tradition of the Quinceanera alive.

Annotation: This source can be found in an article accessed from Google News on April 25, 2007

– The source comes from the Cadillac News